Let me not flatten you out
For my own comfort, my love.
If you call yourself a morning person,
Then dance all night,
I’ll not consider it defection.

An old pattern twitches in my mind,
Like birds pointed south.

Thank you for understanding
Why I don’t have a favorite color.
It is not that I lack vibrancy,
But, rather, that I prefer to embrace fluidity.
So many seem capable only
Of perceiving what they know in themselves—
Assigning words and phrases to traits and qualities,
Then deciding whether or not they align with their own.
I squirm under this imposition of coordinates
This disrespect for wild mind
These petty strains of knowing.

A hundred black birds
Swoop and arc as one
Their gestures like a huge trick kite.
I once saw their conductor—
A man with a giant swath of fabric
Dancing on the rooftop–
A hungry ghost, an aching specter,
Directing the birds’ gestures.
I realize now that dreamt him.

1998

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