for Erik Lemke (1979-2012)

A hummingbird flies into a window 
that looks like the sky. Everything around here
looks like the sky. The sky looks tiger striped.
They call that kind of cloud 
something. I know somebody 
who knows about clouds. I could find 
out the name. Everything around here 
has a name. 
The hummingbird fell to the deck. My husband picked it up.
—What did it feel like in your hand? 
—Nothing. It felt like nothing. 
—Where is it now? 
—Not dead. It flew away. It disappeared and it disappeared again. 
I’ll tell you a joke. A hummingbird flew into a window…
I’ll tell you another joke. Treachery, 
we were friends once. 
In dreams the bird 
weighs more, so you can feel it
when you pick it up. So when 
it dies it seems 
like something actually happened. 
It’s a word 
around your hand and a sign 
at the stripped road. 
A mylar star on a plastic stick
tied to the sign. 
Blacktop. Post. A fat star’s
taut. It’s stuffed. 
It’s shining.
There’s going 
to be a party around here somewhere.
The bird weighs nothing waits nowhere.

The sky looks like a window and it flies right through.



[Melissa Ginsburg]


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