Sunday, November 12, 2017


by Anita Sullivan

The bird sings.
See the beak vibrate, almost a blur, as if it were
flexing like a fiddle string, which surely it must not be.

The bird sings.
There is a happy certainty, as the small body endures
continuous aftershocks from this seismic event,
that the violence will do it no damage – no more
than an orgasm will harm a human, and in fact. . . .

An overwhelming
mistaken for temporary,
for verging on, for disparity, for ad hoc, for incomplete – .
Which could have led to a chaff of tiny bones at the bottom of a cliff
making nary an etch in the document of stones.

Instead, an end run around order to ecstasy.

Sings through a prow that drills a future into air:
lower bill falls and rises, upper bill holds
(barely keeping the angle acute),
not making the sound per se, but mollifying

As if the beak assumes temporarily a role other than its
assigned . . . ingesting.
Like a fisherman pressed into performing
an emergency appendectomy on a kitchen table
because he has some familiarity with guts.

Will sit in for flute, for falling water, for castanets – .

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