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Birds, and Other Baggage

 

 

I. Halcyon

 

I went in to the wild once

a fully-grown woman safely buckled

in her seat, but something about the way

the eager wind passed through the open jeep

and cradled my butt-cheeks against the lush leather

made me feel embryonic

 

fairly small, naïve.

 

The trees looked thirsty for shade,

their large stumps racing each other to the ground,

and my chest collapsed inwards to fit behind

a petty gathering of shrubbery, while

my feet itched to graze

the fleeting hallucinations of

burnt cinnamon grass

 

but they

locked me in four open walls

shut at the clasp of a cloudy day,

clogging my throat

like cotton balls stuck in teeth.

 

Unlike the giraffe beholding us drink

our gin without invitation, or

the leopard shying away from

its own beauty in a spotter’s light,

they told me

I would only interrupt

 

and for a few moments I was glad

the voices said to do nothing;

 

only if it were not for my own

weight, I would be running through

the wild, fearless,

tanning the bright blue sky

 with streaks of brown.

 

***

 

 

 

II. Horizon

 

Another virginal foray, this time

inside my head, swelling up from

the cacophonous heat all the while

in which I watched again;

 

the blue-green ocean effervescing

into yellow, drowning in salt-semen

while the sun made the skin

crisp with beads of ginger sweat.

The ocean saluted at the sight

of skin, and retreated;

such thirsty skin that cut the crests

of waves and suffocated the sunlight, imagine

more shades of skin in one mustard rainbow

framed by a stinking ocean breeze

than on this piece of land on which I stood

and the sky dulled slowly,

to match the world below it.