A dove found dead. Above, the crawl of landing lights. In the parking lot of this motel it is the only perfect bird: wide-eyed, rattling in the bag in which I place its unmarked waistcoat.
I elevator to my room: the papered soap, the band across the toilet seat; my mirrored face remembers my son running on chalked faces ringing the Köln Cathedral, stirring birds to life. On the train
back to Andernach, he asked an old woman if the river was a silver ring. Wolfgang met us with a bag of mirabelles, which we ate shaded by modest hills of chalk and trellises. Two hawks fought over the Mösel.
The day the quail ran through the copper foundry, they stopped the pour of the anode furnace into ringed ingots. Men riding chained loaders grinned as the line of birds ran to the pile of radiators. In Santa Fe
I saw a cockatoo play chess. Eagles on the Mississippi cry for gambling boats. There’s that instant when you’re sure you’ll hit the crow on the road. Seagulls saved the Mormons. There’s scripture
in the nightstand, and the bird-of-paradise in the rude blue frame above the bag on the padded chair.