[ Also a partly found poem after Brian Doyle’s Joyas Voladoras; with thanks to Lina Sagaral Reyes for the link ]
I don’t know whose translucent wings those are
twitching, disappearing into a knothole in the ceiling;
but in the throes of great uncertainty I am
asked to consider the miniature:
– A heart the size of a pencil eraser, beating ten
times a second, hammering faster than we could hear.
– A heart that fuels flights more than five
hundred miles without stopping to rest.
– Hot heart that kisses at least a thousand flowers a day
but cold, slides into a torpor from which it might no longer rouse.
– Oh my constellation of fears, shamed by a wingstroke
smaller than a baby’s fingernail, thunderous as the world’s wild waterfalls.
– Heart like a race car engined by color, buffered
by wind, stripped for nothing but flight.
– Chant of bearded helmetcrests and booted racket-tails,
violet-tailed sylphs and crimson topazes.
– Rosary of charismatic names: amethyst woodstars and
rainbow-bearded thornbills, pufflegs and spatuletails.
– You’ve found me out: I have a bag of tortoise coins. I’ve spent them
like a miser, hoarding each little bit of copper against that one stupendous day.
– I’ve lived mostly alone in the bricked-up house of my heart,
but a wind teeters at the door, smelling of skin and apple breath.
In response to an entry from the Morning Porch.
OTHER POSTS IN THE SERIES
- Landscape, with Ruby-Throated Hummingbird
- El Sagrado Corazon
- Three (More) Improvisations
- The Gift
- Goldfinch in the Garden
- What Cannot Eat
- Petition to Fullness
- Heart you Want to Lead in from the Cold
- Unending Lyric
- Dear modest four-bedroom, two-and-a-half bath
- Ode to the Pedicure Place at the Mall
- Letter to Attention
- Landscape, with Incipient Questions
- Letter to Stone
- Milagrito: Eye of the Raven
- What You Don’t Always See
- Going to the Acupuncturist in the Market
- Ode to the Heart Smaller than a Pencil Eraser
- Migrant Letters
- The Road of Imperfect Attentions
- In the Country of Lost Hours
- Morning Lesson
- Song of the Seamstress’s Daughter
- Landscape, with Construction Worker, Ants, and Gull
- Dream Landscape, with Ray-bans and Leyte Landing
- End Times
- Pantoum, with Spiderweb and Raindrops
- Landscape, with Variations in Allegory
- Assassin’s Wake
- Private: Each Question is Always the Same Question
- Shroud Villanelle
- Dear Annie Oakley,
- Landscape, with Red Omens
- Late Summer Landscape, with Twilight and Daughters
- Ghazal of Unattainable Silence
- Distance, Then
- Noon Prayer
- In the Convent of Perpetual Adoration
- State of Emergency
- Storm Warning
- Goodbye, Irene
- The Lovers
- Dream of the Four Directions
- Lost Lyric
- Dear recklessness, dear jeweled
- Bearing Fire