I wouldn’t argue, either, with the good fortune
of this: a circle of bare dirt, grass and seeds,
the warm jet of air the dryer spills out
to melt the snow. I’ve seen them perched
in the ash and black locust, among a familiar
stand of blackjack and bur and chinkapin.
Creatures of unreal design-a splotch of blue
or seasonal red, a yellow that’s really more green.
They strike the pose of things with wings:
here now, gone now. But seeing them this close,
huddled in a circle of clear space, they look
too-perfectly made, ornaments hand-carved
and painted by my Vietnamese friends—Ly Bao
and Soo Kim, Matthew the son of Lu Ky.
Sometimes the things they make have fooled me:
birds red-bellied and black-capped,
the pileated and ruby crowned static in mid-flight.
Come here, they say. Touch me. I won’t fly away.
Still, kneeling at a window above these birds,
I don’t move so they won’t. This slant of morning,
particular and alluring, tempts me to believe
a thing so lovely it’s absurd—that I could live here
forever, if only a wing weren’t made for flight,
this body of mine so much dirt.