48.1 - Winter 2019

Page 112

It was an awful thing, they said, this bird-strike, as if the death of birds had only now begun, & orioles hadn’t always sung themselves into windows & electrical towers & the harbor-like stomachs of patient tabbies. I am held, at last, by knowing I will never live this again: a brawl for lake, water, for air, for cherries, & a clearer view, the somersault deduction of the dayglo banner that nearly annihilates meaning, demanding We Want Safe Setbacks. I tell her before I leave that I have listened for the sound the blades are said to make. What some say inspires tinnitus, nausea; rattles highways from their beds. Parked along the shoulder, I mark our vacancy over the peachless trees. How the wind pulls its own oar above the ridge of lights. Such certainty, this botching of the orchard stars.

POETRY | 103