There’s a bird crying outside, or maybe calling, anyway it goes on and on
without stopping, so I begin to think it’s my bird, my insistent
I, I, I that today is so trapped by some nameless but still relentless longing
that I can’t get any further than this, one note clicking metronomically
in the afternoon silence, measuring out some possible melody
I can’t begin to learn. I could say it’s the bird of my loneliness
asking, as usual, for love, for more anyway than I have; I could as easily call it
grief, ambition, knot of self that won’t untangle, fear of my own heart. All
I can do is listen to the way it keeps on, as if it’s enough just to launch a voice
against stillness, even a voice that says so little, that no one is likely to answer
with anything but sorrow, and their own confusion. I, I, I, isn’t it the sweetest
sound, the beautiful, arrogant ego refusing to disappear? I don’t know
what I want, only that I’m desperate for it, that I can’t stop asking.
That when the bird finally quiets I need to say it doesn’t, that all afternoon
I hear it, and into the evening; that even now, in the darkness, it goes on.