David J. Taylor


          (Denton, Tx)

In February,
the robins return
after the last month’s cold spells,
scratching among the dry leaves,
or in the pale green henbit and winter rye grass.
Mockingbirds too,
perch in the hackberry, singing,
flashing bands of white and black
as they fly
at the blue jays nestled in the feeder,
gorging themselves
on millet and sunflower seeds.

Through my coffee, I am reading this morning,
“Indra, the Emperor of the Gods,
took a blade of grass,
stuck it in the ground and said,
The sanctuary is built.”
In Upton, New York, physicists
are colliding ions, generating heat forty times that of a supernova, such heat,
even the parts of atoms free themselves from their bounds,
matter itself born of imbalance.

When I feel off kilter like this,
I can’t help but wonder,
and let language imagine if the tree sings the bird.
When we return to the fire of our beginnings,
when ear and aura are
the spinning, fire-fused distance between
protons and neutrons—sanctuary upon sanctuary—
maybe the mockingbird’s voice becomes what it imitates,
and the hackberry chats in the mockingbird's voice.

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