Jawad’s Flock in Mohammedia
A patch of sunlight on the wall thin shadows
like worn nets or the snagged stockings
of a voracious lover impair that patch.
Our shoes tap the marble stairs down-down.
The flock suddenly silent.
But I heard them last night.
Thought I heard them but the packed train
that evening may have induced delirium.
I stood for five hours flattening myself
on dirty windows so the beggars could pass.
But I’m begging for that sound now the pensive
parakeets in steel cages.
Who is the stranger smelling of lake shells?
The only named bird is white hiding
in a wood box with spotted eggs.
That sound so much like the breeze
against palm fronds in the park where we walked.
I saw azure parakeets flying
to the severed steeple then to you.
What returns to the broken?
What circles about that which beats?
The solitary so against that flock
flapping as if one being.
We are against it.
We are the solitary moving in solitude.
The wind surrounds.
Later your hands through her hair
as the flock circles near the ceiling.
You circle her.
They are circling as they sing.
Sunlight over everything as they sing.
You wait for another song.