The Invisible Birds Of Central America

by Craig Arnold

for Alicia

The bird who creaks like a rusty playground swing
the bird who sharpens the knife the bird who blows
on the mouths of milk bottles the bird who bawls like a cat
like a cartoon baby the bird who rubs the wineglass
the bird who curlicues the bird who quacks like a duck
but is not a duck the bird who pinks on a jeweller's hammer
They hide behind the sunlight scattered throughout the canopy
At the thud of your feet they fall thoughtful and quiet
coming to life again only when you have passed
Perhaps they are not multiple but one
a many-mooded trickster whose voice is rich
and infinitely various whose feathers
liquify the rainbow rippling scarlet
emerald indigo whose streaming tail
is rare as a comet's a single glimpse of which
is all that you could wish for the one thing
missing to make your eyes at last feel full
to meet this wild need of yours for wonder

Last updated April 06, 2023