The Innisfree Poetry Journal

by Kathleen Radigan

Immanuel, Arkansas

On the news they're saying "What causes two thousand

birds to fall from the sky?" 

Interviews with witnesses, bald-headed, southern-tongued, who,

in the tunnel from the doorstep to the mailbox, slipped over black corpses

with slipper feet.  Feather beds and ivy.  If we could ask the birds

in an on-camera exposé they might say

"What causes two thousand humans to fall out of love?  Spill from front doors

in the morning, untangled from sheets and lovers?"

They couldn't just hit the wire.  You know how much I love you.

How wide stretches the sky.  If we could ask the birds,

maybe they'd say "The Sky Was Too Small,

the love suctioned, built up in lungs, and outweighed us all."

What causes feathery descent?  The fish too are turning up 

dead in the water.  The check-out girl lifts her scanner, the splinter

splits the finger.  Kisses sew then split apart the stitches. Stars cycle through.

This is for the birds.

For the homeless man who went to school to speak like a radio king,

how high he had to fly and how sudden the plunge.  He says

"Radio is a fine theatre of mind, and theatre of mind's all I got.

Watch family guy.  Friday night on Fox 28." He calls onto an empty corner

trash can jungle, fish smell rankling,

"This is for the birds, for the lovers and ex-lovers

feathered speechless in the brown grass:

I hope you scatter and fly north for a change."

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