We all start somehow. Why not with flight,
a hawk’s unrehearsed reaction to intention?
From its height it’s best a hawk makes no mistakes.
The slightest inflection of a few feathers
lets it change course, elevation, direction.
All this without thinking. That’s it, without thinking.
A fly spends inordinate time rubbing its thorax,
scrubbing its face. After watching such studious exercise
who are we to slap it, if it touches our hands, our food?
Our skin will sting, so quick is the engine of its body,
so finely, so loudly tuned. You can’t swat a fly.
You can’t swat a motorcycle. You don’t even try.
Under the grey brush of rain a blackbird folds
and unfolds wings dreaming about lichen
and worms whose whole pink unseeing bodies gleam.
Have you ever felt a blackbird’s feather sweep
across your palm? Or heard it propel itself away,
filling with song its broad surround of silence?
Sam Seskin lives in Portland, Oregon. He doesn’t have any tattoos and doesn’t drink coffee. He just rides a bike.