Ulysses as a Negro-Bird.
Enduring the nor'easter, a bluebird enters a half-town, a
coda resolving the Finger Lakes. Evening
gnaws on the damp bone horizon until nothing's left,
but some gray snow smeared like ash on the forehead of door after door.
Bird of constant sorrow, blue-black, half blind, puffed with rain,
profile of shadow perched on a stuttering
branch, bird with his song taut as bowstring, flattens notes
cross peeled sycamore bark, shivering to name again the final island.
Home. By dawn his hours sung are not enough. The day's firstborn
light reveals what hasn't survived. Not even a dog left to
remember. No one waits for a wailing.
A rabid wind greedy as Scylla eats six notes from the scale leaving
this shrill-as-a-whistling- arrow-piercing-the-air flat-note caught in
the bird's throat. Locals exiting
the half-town truncate all naming down to, "I am ..., I am
..." A sliver of lightning renews the town's burning bush.
Bleating begins in the streets. The sun blinks, then blinds itself with
a fog. The bird's shadow, hung from a tree, burns in effigy.