conversations with birds: the phoenix favors fire over earth
I do not fear the terrible angels
their voices embroidered cloaks torn across
the sky, their heavily belted bodies,
strong hips, shield-bright eyes.
I do not fear them in the hard city.
Their draperies snag on its remote spires.
They drone in its unnavigable sky
The angels I fear are mute
their wings waxy as aster petals
their bodies translucent carapace
curled grub-like in flight.
They don’t descend to the deathbed
swords drawn to the rift: death from life.
They hatch, insensate as seeds in
fresh turned earth.