April 01, 2009
The conditions of a solitary bird are five: First that it flies to the highest point. Second that it does not seek after company; not even its own kind. Third, that it aims its beak to the wind. Fourth, that it has no definite color. Fifth that it sings very sweetly.
(John of the Cross: Sayings of Light and Love)
To begin it was thought she was
bird: raven, or solitary spotted owl.
Next, her tree dwelling ways;
how she slunk under branches or
lunged headlong down tree trunks.
Of this it was said simply: squirrel.
Perhaps not fauna at all...theories grew.
This coat of gray elliptic shadows
and the sorrow she provokes.
The way she’s poised against
the bluest afternoon sky...
Cloud species: alto-cumulus
Yet hearing of her saber-ic canines
Her gift for balance, her long tail
& that she’d gone mad in captivity:
killing her young; to spare them
a similar fate?
Her prowling of the corners of her keep;
disappearing entirely & for days after
refusing a mousy snack & how her
mate became aggressive even deadly,
after sexual encounters.
I recognize, but do not declare,
this cousin of mine.