Like one bird leading fifty birds into a tree:
clamor then silence, the morality
of keeping up. When the rest were expelled,
when the rest were made to wander
off in their bodies, thatched over now,
the snake was allowed to stay.
That was what staying meant, and being
the last. I could see it in each bird.
In that careful season, I pinned myself
in my dress, and later, my dress
to a clothesline. The days billowed,
stiffly. The days as a hymn, sung
as the words appear, line by line, the mixing
of verses. Good sun. Good
and goodness. My tongue in my mouth
sounding as if I was being played
by being struck. The birds in the morning,
possessed by wind. The fluff that scattered.
A sounding, with a padding of silence,
a mistake that echoes, terribly
on and on, deliciously on.