left. Brittle-cold grass, where I want to insert
first the asphalt, first the rain
thawing on the brick. Silence unfolds
its loud mutterings.
Pierced by a cry. Black bird,
yellowed beak. Not pierced,
threaded. Bird finds the grain
of the still air, slips a voice through
and between the layers. First sees
the layers. Soon the instant
when the falling water is only
what falls from branches, edge of
gutter, off the leaves.
Taps on the hard grass.
New silence after
this one. I plucked a smooth
green needle from a low-hanging off-shoot,
the branch leaning in to me as if to hear
more clearly. Pulled bowstring.
The needle: flexed it between two fingers,
folding it in half. Pressed it between two teeth,
convex side down, flattening its slight
curvature. I would have closed my eyes
to do it more carefully.