Two Birds

(after a photograph taken by Steve Pollock)

One bird squawks
The other bird flies 

In solitude I try
to soar within my mind
I rarely care about
where I’ve lived
or where I’ve been

One bird soars
The other bird sings

The look in her eyes told me
what her words denied—
that she’d soon take flight
For that moment, at least, she lost
her look of cunning and vulgarity

One bird stares
The other bird ascends 

We live within falsehood,
smile at it, practice it
We use it to smooth and soothe
all without meaning
any harm or hurt

One bird holds its wings up strong
The other bird cries 

Scathed in time’s sorrows
I prepare slowly, carefully
so as to perform spontaneously,
fiercely, ferociously,
like a heart on fire

One bird scowls
The other bird lifts

The older I get
the slower I heal
I more than ever now indulge
in fantasies of lightness
and ascent

Up the one bird goes
The other bird breathes intent

Her charmless, toughness
like a weed that withers
as she shows us, at last, her true face
The face you show as you age
is your real face

One bird exhales strongly
The other bird glides 

Out of painful curiosity
I pierce my way to you
The sea shows both light and dark
Grief is its own release—
until the sea released me

One bird hovers on the wind
The other bird still seeks




-August 13, 2016-