Friday, April 22, 2011


I've forgotten the birds again (just like I lose God--
my mind wandering wrong waters until He
lassos me back in again). Six in the morning,
I remember to listen, and the tree's full of finches,
the males chest red, full of spring.

There was a man I loved and we chased
tanagers, orioles, and all birds flying
and blue. We ran across parks, up mountains,
down shores. We wove, more slowly,
around the windy estuarine foot paths.

Avocets and sora rails, wood ducks and kites.
We flew with the birds, fed with the birds,
wading and waiting for fish to surface, then
a fast dunk and a kill. I sometimes press myself
to recall our love for birds, even while the helicopters

hovered searching immigrants who crossed
the close border for a better life, a move
birds could perform freely, without sirens
or fear. No country owns the birds. We were
living local wars, down South and in our house.
Each time I crossed the boundary of my skin

into his, I risked my life and limb.
He was a dangerous thing
I fell into. Of course, I was only looking
for a warmer place than I'd been last season,
a place I wouldn't shiver in my skin.

I lost myself in birds, I nearly lost my life
in him. With hope, I crossed into to hostile country.

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