Mit Zurück


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.