A man wakes in a city between
the Indian Ocean and the Atlantic.
He feels like a stranger in the sleeping
house. He wakes before first light,
before the first bird leaves the nest,
before the silence is broken by a rustle
in the leaves. His feet are cold
on the floor of this room, someone
else’s room. He wears his clothes
as if they were someone else’s.
Where has the bird flown? The man
dreams of being a swallow who can fly
to the roof of the world,
to its balconies tiled in warm
terra cotta. Does he also dream
that his daughters are swallows
with green bead eyes, that their wings
cut out of silver paper and strung
with flowers, ring the walls with their
bright cries? In the grey stillness of dawn,
shut your eyes in the room like a man
without sight: tell me if this way,
you hear more acutely the signal of wings,
the small lift of air underneath each stroke.
(for Jim Pascual Agustin)
In response to an entry from the Morning Porch.