Ardea herodias

They shook dust from their wings.
Little cast-away particles from their hollow crushed bones,
Sticking to splintered hairs lying dormant on my face and sticking up rigid on my arms;The detritus of history balancing on bunches of skin cells.
Dead, yet somehow still growing.

And the rain was perfect that morning.
Breaking as it hit the concrete, gleaming off boney tree branches, making my eyelashes web, and gathering together small oceans at my feet.
The gravel crunched under tires that were tarry and black
like when we closed our eyes so the sleep would come to us
so that the earth would become shifting sand dunes as the car pulled into the driveway.
The heat and the dust rising off the tires and fragmenting the rain’s mirage opened different realities to be embraced within, and I could see myself starting the ignition as I prepared to drive back in search of home and the prior week.

If it had been more than imagination I would have diluted my orange juice that day, skipped the coffee ,and said “I like to do the dishes”. Or would I have been anything but pleasant, tossing away passivity, demanding myself as in charge? An informer, sliding onto the deck, slipping on saline, squawking out to the heron perched on the old branches, asserting that there's little use to come back here, unless to stay perched forever or to be shot. And his feathers hardened into bark , stripped from the rotting trees, and blown away as ashes into the wind, gusts that controlled puddle tides of the tiny oceans that were now soaking into the down of my pillow.

When my eyes did open, the freedom to pretend closed.
I woke up to slanted ceilings and odorous books,
Weary eyed-dogs and a reminder in twisted sheets that had folds creased like furrowed brows.
And out the window no herons perched on the tree,
But were floating serenely in the breeze.
The last remnants of a life blown away
burnt up into sunrise and tail feathers;
the drama that I never had, and the archaic cessation I was expectant for you to die for.

1 comment:

Moth said...

God damn. You describe things fricking awesomely