That there are too many birds—I know this already.
But the buckshot-pierced dove’s open mouth
echoed my lover’s sleep-slackened jaw, so I
covered its body with leaves and swore off
my rifle forever. And if I decided love was possible
because her eyelashes iridesced like peacock feathers,
so be it. If a house sparrow arrives on my sill,
sprig of language pinched in her beak, who am I
to tell her no? The first time I saw the plastic owl
perched on my San Francisco rooftop, I circled
the building three times, awed by the fog-hazed
visitation. The stunned robin who hunkered
on the deck for hours—that she flew away meant
one thing, that she left a red stain meant another.