by Lisa M. Friedlander
Here you go,
rushing off again
just as the tiny bird strums the air into music.
The bird hovers, its wings trilling,
its eyes taking me in slowly, as I approach,
almost without breath.
Here you are, binoculars in one hand,
the bird book under your arm.
You find the bird's ruby throat in the book,
its green neck that will never
find its way to your heart
in all its indescribable iridescence--reflective flecks of jet,
or the color where the tiny green feathers
merge and mingle with the red.
You have an obsession for naming,
for possessing all that comes within your sphere.
You must think me lazy,
merely looking as I do,
content and unfamiliar with the song,
expectant, to hear the notes for the first time,
shivery, to feel the turbulent wings close to my ear.
I've seen, again and again,
how you conquer the birds,
how you flatten them against the sky.
Thrush and sparrow, lark and titmouse
more delicious on the tongue
than throbbing in the eye.
Do you find my arms so predictable?
My kisses so species-bound?
Do you have just one name
for the colors of my hair,
or the wild song in my heart?