Migration by Air
Daylight crawls up the highest steeple in town,
Jumps off. No one sees it fall or hears it land.
Just like yesterday, it left no note.
Walking up my hill, thinking about lost souls, mine
Among them, I look up. In the moon’s first quarter
The sky smiles with one curved tooth.
A few clouds hang over the gables like gauze.
Like a swarm of black non-sequiturs suddenly
Dozens of vultures sweep over the crest of the hill in front of me,
Covering the sky, some gliding, too large to fly but beating
Away common sense
With slow motion punches, close enough to the ground
That in this mid-autumn
Silence I can hear the engine of each heavy wingbeat whisper-chuff
Like some far-away locomotive with its freight of happy carrion.
At this hour everything turns the shade of barely missed opportunities,
Or a thing you forgot to say as the moment fades into the past.
The moment is gone, but the thing remains.
It’s still there, behind the dark.
By the next day it will be changed by even a single night yet utterly
Recognizable. This is why loss stays with us. Why all God’s numbered hairs
Stand on end when the last vulture pauses and circles
You before moving along,
Why we feed monsters candy. Because they see in the dark.