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Dangerous Only When Disturbed

ISSUE:  Fall 2018


Of birdsongs, I know only three
for certain: cardinal, blue jay, raven,
though perhaps the last two
don’t count—not as song. More call
than song.  More cry, by which I mean
exclamatory, not the kind
with tears. Not that tears
can’t be song sometimes, depending on
who’s weeping, for what reason, and
with what degree of restraint, finally, at least
half of what any music worth being
called music’s made of; as for the rest—
release? Does that still
sound right? Did you know the blue
of the blue morpho butterfly’s
iridescent wings isn’t biological
but an engineering of light, that they’re 
not blue at all? In the song
of you, in the song I make of you,
in which your horselessness means
a fear of horses, nothing
more than that, you’re a man asleep
beneath the willow’s umbrella, you’ve
grown your hair out, the hair rises
the way dream does to the cool
descent of the willow’s branches, from
the thicket that hair and branches and
dream make, I haven’t
forgotten you, it’s just I’ve been
distracted, between the sound
of birds singing somewhere and this
inability to keep any song left
inside me from ruining
everything, or so I tell myself, and
like that, if not true as in
provable, as in here’s proof, it’s true enough
to believe in. You’re awake, I think.
Your mouth is moving.



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