Tableaux Vivants

After Yola Monakhov’s “Lebende Bilder”

These five finches are no longer here,
nor is the barred owl with only a dark
socket where its other eye should be—

Neither the loose strife of leaves,
pale green beneath their crown of paler
flowers; nor the clustered apples

high and cold on the branch, their blush
beginning to shade with blue. There is
no grass to match the colors of the

mountain vireo, dun brushed with light
cadmium yellow. You could not get
such feathers from a kit: no diorama

could hold them so, except the eye
that follows the gash of scarlet upon
the pileated woodpecker’s brow, and notes

the torque in the neck of the chipping sparrow—
rust feathers splayed against a background
of white, its dusky eyebrow and dark eye-

line arrowing toward something gone: a thought,
the ghost of some accident or encounter
before the shutter whirred and closed.

 

In response to an entry from the Morning Porch.

Series Navigation← FablesListening to Chopin’s Prelude in D-flat Major, Op. 28, No. 15 →

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