For background on this photo, see here.
After the unasked-for grooming
by that mob of wingless birds,
their strange soft claws reaching deep
under my feathers, they let me go.
The rock field dropped away
& I thought for a moment it was over.
But I still feel
that fleshy insinuation across my breast.
And something rides me, a small weight,
the same way I ride
this snake of wind.
What kind of clutching
doesn’t still the heart?
Its unshakeable presence makes me know myself
apart from beak & talons
as a thing that throbs,
a thing that chafes & pulses
here here here here,
the mountains circling below.