...spirit like an aviary in one of the old zoos--
nets, gym-high ceiling--when an off-handed clap, scutter--
some disturbance--comes and the birds
fly wildly. No way to calm them down, no keeper's close attendance,
lights, jungle music, tame twittering of paddock avionics,

only the patternless mad fling of bodies and the engendered memory--
not even memory: only blood spat into the brain--
of vast green tracts and courtly practice, fig trees
filled with purple fruit, birdlings, cuties,
no goshawks in sight, the broad, banded, unbuckled sky
and coherent sunshine luffing calmly, not for them.

By Charlie Smith