Birdland

 

We like to think we’re like Switzerland, but you glimpsed pictures of people taking pictures, and that sort of started it, chunks of debris falling out of the sky, while bees smoldered in the roadside ditch like cigarette butts, or like love letters that refused to burn, and we sat in our car at the intersection of night and day, mesmerized by the fire raging from the windows.

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Is that the wind? Or just angels withdrawing their sympathy and protection? The 911 operator hangs up in the middle of the latest call, suddenly exhausted from listening to intimacies of empire, unfortunate juxtapositions. Hope is not the word I would use.

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What happens could have happened yesterday and could happen tomorrow, birds of all different nationalities, finches, cardinals, blue jays, even crows, taking turns at the feeder, or, when the seed in the tube runs low, jealously scheming in the dark of the underbrush for absolute advantage, unaware that, like the gods on Olympus, their sovereignty has long been over.

Howie Good is the author of The Loser's Guide to Street Fighting, winner of the 2017 Lorien Prize from Thoughtcrime Press, and Dangerous Acts Starring Unstable Elements, winner of the 2015 Press Americana Prize for Poetry. ​

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