Saturday, February 17, 2007

The Holy Birds of Astoria

they wait for Claire outside the pale funeral
home on 30th Ave
across from the dry cleaners
with the duct-taped window pane

the starlings surround her
when she steps off the curb

shimmer and hiss and woot
voices like gears constantly winding
like the rising sound at the end of a question

birds so dark in the depths
of the street's one pine
the shadows enclose them like envelopes

purple bits of glint for eyes and the sound
of fluttering (they shove and adjust)
the exclamation of a yellow beak

whistle whistle crackle

they tug at her pink purse alight
on her shoulders take her earlobe
in their beaks like a piece of nectarine

they scratch her cheeks she cries
her mother cuts her fingernails again,
smacks her on the thigh where no one
can see the bruise

on her way to her day program
the starlings stain Claire's dress
with white streaks
like she's half-erased

Also, Jenn Tynes wrote the most perfect review of The Transparent Dinner. She really understood the book! Which is not easy. As you might know.

Jenn is so nice she's an angel. With gold wings. Tipped with Diamonds. She's the angel QUEEN. With a unicorn horn, even. On a puffy pink cloud.