i began to drink the solemn song of the universe around age five :
lying in bed, as dusk falls into night,
i’d hear a bird’s cry of blue quietude –
they live in the trees outside.
felix was the first to know the name : we were bathing in our young adulthood
on a blossoming west village street.
i mimicked the sound for him, and he, a flutist,
whistled it back in perfect harmony.
it’s a wood pigeon, he said.
i have never been much of a musician but i knew that bird song was the same.
the next time i tried to see felix, he claimed to have heat stroke –
and then i was out of the country.
for years i cursed this sound for hurting me so : for leaving me zippering and fragmented and mauled : for years i thought they haunted my bedroom alone.
the heart is like a raw child screaming –
i must stop to ask why it’s sad.
the events of the day? walking home alone? not finding the love you wished?
that’s what happens when you hope too hard :
the heart like an old dog sleeping.
i am flying downhill,
all effort removed.
like shaking dead blossoms off of my skin,
the ones placed so carefully –
as if to hide,
as if to hibernate.
but i’m no bear – no, i’m a white-feathered bird, and here is my soul :
emerging from despair, whispering in wonder,
so this is sweetness,
so this is light.
some days, on this earth,
i can do nothing but drop down in dappled leaves and cry.
for all that makes it worth to live, and sad to die :
words for the love i have longed for,
words for the birds that i have found.
~ painting is : 8000 metres down by william stein (2018) ~