Poem in Which a Bird Does Some of the Talking - John Yau

Why wasn’t I invited to grip the balustrade?
Am I not made to strut across the scene?

Hasn’t the sunset already entered the library?
And hasn’t it closed the door to anyone who was anxious to file me away?

White, oblong, upright - though not a book,
the thick-sided box is both a prison
and an immense stage,

which allows your fans to adore you
as you make your grand entrance,

then pirouette, like a clock in a wet railway station,
I am a humble example of something-

I’m not sure what-
the next civilization no longer appreciates.

Next door, a silent movie, its hypnotic subtitles
serenading the startled brow of the story’s heroine,

Paved Honey, best known for her inventive outbursts of wickedness.

Why doesn’t the audience see the ropes
hoisting me to my rightful place in the sky?

We were unable to leave town
before it was overrun

by a tumultuous outpouring
of brightly costumed insects,

some of which we barely manage to name.
Carnivorous birds remain our only consolation.

We keep them beside us, in hotel rooms.
Believe me when I say I wanted to write sooner,

but nothing eventful has transpired
since I sent the last postcard to show

you a photograph of The Bridge of Slobs
before it finally collapsed

beneath the crowds dancing on its neck.
If there is a small pleasure

to be found in any of this,
I have nearly an eternity to find it.

— 1 year ago with 4 notes
#poem  #poetry  #john yau  #birds  #disappointment 
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