If you think this is a puzzle, you’re mistaken.
I was going to make a table, so you’d trust me,
The table would have looked like this:
The birds mean something if dead.
My dead-bird affinity owes
and an interpreter field-sketches
Sheet: a bird
I bird because
The tally: over a thousand in over five years—
one thousand divided by five equals two hundred
How does a bird wing factor: it counts as a bird-day.
My body is less polite.
One mouth imitates a cardboard airplane wing
Then, pressing. A pressing-into.
Resistance facilitates flight.
Two of my birds are not real.
One entry: hallelujah, like mallard, or robin.
Hallelujah, ceramic & blue, for happiness.
Feathers do not shard.
Roadwork revises the story of our arrival.
You rewind the mixed tape you made for Xmas.
I apologize if Xmas offends you.
Winter obscures birds for obvious reasons.
In a clinic tv placement determines migration.
A talk show skips so you know it’s recorded. The talk show repeats.
It’s meant to be a kindness from the staff—
Apostrophes relax words.
i is my needle inside bird—
This vile act tires me.
You wrap windchimes in tissue to illustrate:
I see your point.
My sympathy’s with fabric during the hem:
Listen—this bird thing is no joke.
But I’ll ease you in with bird jokes, made up in bed:
A bird stores sugar? In a toucan-ister.
A face interprets longitude as mouth.
Mood fillets these human-feigning countries.
Laughter strips my face, and the cargo of teeth
Do an inventory check if you want, but I’ll just tell you:
I feel most confident about my pigeon-on-its-back assessment.
Within two days of the sighting, there’s a phone call
The man is not always the same, but the man is always frantic.
Neither is the man always frantic about the same thing.
Keep in mind I use the loosely here,
Most recently: you need to get tested, so do.
My assignment: Number Eleven—and Number Eight a few seats away
I’m a red light she eyes
If Number were surname
Beside me before her body—her voice:
as if niceness is an exemption.
A statistics book asserts fifty is the minimum sample size
One eye witness is enough for conviction.
I knew the raven skull was a rarity, so
On rocks and from a distance, a raven skull and a hamburger wrapper
Oregon Coast, near Devil’s Elbow.
Oregon’s Coast morgues much of the devil’s anatomy
If this makes you uncomfortable, say Bible Belt.
Superstitions insist, raven synonymous with ominous
Its brain does not shine through the skull.
An eyelid’s the original lampshade, lowered to create mood.
An eye aces this game.
The metal handrail is warm enough
why aren’t you a metal handrail, or better yet
Pigeon-Not-On-Its-Back is how I knew I’d lose you.
You can’t not see a dead bird after you have seen it:
The third time the ring fell in the toilet
The amber ring from that small Czech town
There are various ways to remember things.
We laid on our backs with the lens focused on a high window.
An asterisk between us:
the symbol used to mark a structure believed to have existed, but un-
I never said I would get this right,
See—how it’s on the right margin.
A phonebook exacerbates fate:
there are a lot of same names—you are just one proton
A safe’s combination is superfluous if the cash is on the counter.
Carelessness a walk signal someone waits for.
If you think Pigeon-Not-On-Its-Back = loss
Loss is not consistently good
I lost my car keys [situation: hurry]
She lost fifteen pounds [situation: a doctor’s recommendation]
He lost a tooth [situation: tooth fairy]
He lost a tooth [situation: fist]
It equals loss + this-much-eye [the sad-width, remember].
You tell me mayonnaise is the only reliable thing
The house was made of wood so the Christmas tree
Perhaps is the bang that alerts tradition out of its starting position
Yes, the angel does look more luminous
The difference between a twig and a branch
Desire deals with wingspan—
it matters for binocular adjustment.
The first time I saw the Grand Canyon was Thanksgiving.
A day after seeing a red-chested bird
Size: rice bowl (the one with fish etchings where earrings are kept)
I’ve concluded Red-Chested/Rice Bowl a holiday bird.
I know you will ask so I’ll save you the trouble:
Otherwise the grocery store deli would be too easy to manipulate.
Buses and RVs that go through the Grand Canyon’s guardrails
A bald eagle nest nine feet across and twenty-seven feet deep.
You hold—no I cannot fathom your hold.
The last time it happened we agreed it never happened.
Does it really matter
If enough happens enough it becomes always:
We walk there to be splashed—it takes three cars.
The pygmy owl from the toy bin at the museum
so I could say
I name our cats after punctuation marks for similar reasons.
A verb gifts the porch with baby sparrows.
I learn you like a motion detector.
It’s my idea of faith.
The bowl leaves a water-shaped hoofmark:
it’s a lesson from horror films—if there’s no body,
Give it fifteen minutes.
Fish mean less to me than dead birds—
The way cold holds teeth hostage by the root.
The way you shiver like teethlike a wire made electric by the exit of birds.