This pigeon with a broken wing justifies my fear of flying. Windows are traps of clarity made to ensnare the sky. How many windows depends on how many skies my mind can hold without shattering into a million mosaic pieces. A matryoshka doll of days nesting different skies. Or memory palace of clouds in nomadic configurations spelling both hello and good-bye like faces staring from the back of their own heads in certain paintings. Because of the myth of breath trees are necessary and birds uneasy at their perch remind me how we’re all animals caught in the same blue distances of our dreaming in case fog with a chance of mountains a sea or moon epiphany and tides give way to the gift of rising. Sooth-say your ways, said the blue-gray gnatcatcher, arriving on yesterday’s wind to alight on the crab apple tree outside my window. One of its feathers can pack a zillion top quarks, the densest particle in the universe, and not miss a wingbeat in the coming migration. There’s this memory of my father showing me how to fly a kite before loss found a foothold. A park blazed with the last of summer’s hydrogen. The bright red jellyfish kite he held firmly anchored in air’s feral trough and dazzling us with its streamers. The day promised to stay forever. His gestures demonstrated what in speech he withheld: that the trick lies in holding the string while slowly letting go.
Other Side of Bright
Losing steps into this shimmering finale, the blood hour when the day folds itself into a luminous suitcase on the horizon
ocean pawning its solar bounty to a blue dragon soaring down, the sidereal’s curtain call sequined with stars, known ellipticals unfolding
the road each footfall engenders a gradient dance of numbers losing count, figure eight dissolving in the moebius clouds,so much radiance
makes me think of Cecil B. DeMille if he’d done a production of Helen of Troy, the face that launched a thousand flaming
garbage barges, for so much beauty there’s carbon load, entropy, drone strikes and birds flying backward into ever
downhill’s one-way slide we knew from up would lead to this final conflagration called breath.
-- José Luis Gutiérrez is a San Francisco-based poet. His work has appeared in The Cortland Review, Eratio, Margie, Juked, DMQ,among others.