MIGRATION IS AS RISKY AS LOVE
Ornithological has so many beats it takes flight in the mouth
letter-winged, like a kite, the word is a raptor, onomatopoetic
making saliva, the beginning of digestion, enzymes breaking
down particles, evoking the desire of ownership.
There’s no malice, it’s just irruptive, built of necessity
there are secrets you cannot know, when you’re always grabbing.
I speak from knowledge. I was born a bird, grew out of it
feathers smoothed in ageing, learned how to pretend.
I guess you could say I’m a hybrid, clumsy against the earth
Because I’m good, I take it, swallow, which is not my breed.
Remembering is an act of defiance
after all those words, here I am tongue-tied
it’s not what I’m missing that causes the stutter
it’s surfeit, sensory awareness is the easy part
layers of landscape, sound, pattern,
phylogeny: even a beak can make the sound
you can’t blame me for liking such silky transmissions
floating past as compression waves. This is what I was born for
letting contractions become my body, so much that gets missed
warning signs no longer early.
Flesh is just another word for skin giving in to gravity
the movement of time unfeathered on the beak, you could call it
by another name, not youth, that’s a different bird.
A lost blur against the sky, swifts and house martins
it always comes back to flight, and now, just the path
shaped like a figure of eight, twisting back on itself
counting from zero, the musky scent of consolation
opening the body to change.
A VOICE TO SHATTER GLASS
There’s no proof this ever happened
the sound isn’t even audible
unless you’re a dog, in which case
rhythms preserved in the patterns of words.
Every object has a resonant frequency
run a finger along the rim: ghost hum.
She didn’t like being called a gypsy
though people lined up at her door
money in closed fists, ready to hear
her secrets, wrapped in a soothing voice
break the glass.
They came in secret
tea leaves in a mug, left with something other
than answers it was
not that kind of fortune.
She hummed, a single note amplified
working through the cavity of the mouth
stretched along the larynx
shattering of history, a portal
they came in secret but they didn’t keep quiet
mechanical waves moving through gas, liquid, solids
through the medium of time
press your ear against the table
and it’s there still, carrying energy outward
into the hallway of her cramped apartment
smelling of damp clothing and Barley soup
into the streets, against the silence of intent
rushing into the future, always pushing
struggling, desire and hunger
air, water, glass, shattering
into the present where
the only thing that can happen
is that which seems impossible.