Birds

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I listen at night to birds
resettling on branches,
shifting on leaves and twigs with bone feet.
Asleep in our trees, padded around us,
they breathe through their beaks;
their brains tick over.

One afternoon by the pond
two Welcome swallows
whipped past our heads like Ninja stars,
then sheared up the hill looking over their shoulders;
insects and birds cloud the sky.

At dusk the birds
slit the night air like darts.
We track them with field glasses;
you see their plumage, I watch their eyes.

Once I caught a crow
looking straight at me.
Its eye shone like a man’s
dressed in a bird suit.
Breathing, it lifted its neck feathers
and screamed;
its brain ticked over.

At night I listen to birds sleeping.
Puffed out like dust balls their odour is heavy.
I dream of their grey skin,
the juicy growth of their quills.
I smell the hotness under their wings,
feel their crushable bodies
that fit into the hand.

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