Tuesday, March 10, 2020


On a cold March morning,
when downtown skylines are
not yet apparent and the rooftops
still frosty in the feeble sun,
a few pairs of legs besides mine
are trudging to reluctant trains or
columnated cars still frozen
in last night's shadow—
but no one in their right mind
is speaking, let alone singing
quite like the sparrows
all congregated naked in the
tight-budded lilac bushes.
They sound deliriously happy—
just to be cold and conscious 
and hungry. In fact, though,
the constancy of their chirping
unsettles a little; it is difficult
to ignore, and I find myself
trapped between resentful
and jealous: how foreign it sounds
to celebrate a lacking, how
unnervingly strange and perfect
is the pitch of awareness
which is borne on the breath
of absence itself.