It is my humble opinion, near the end of another
tenebrous day, that the most precise beauty I saw
was through a frosted office window--three stories up
where a row of birds, roundish and cowled,
dropped from the limbs of a wintering tree,
one after another.
Each time they dropped, stone-like,
falling towards the cement,
I nearly caught my breath,
until the wind filled their feathers,
holding them aloft.
An hour later, I lay on
rumpled plastic, arms folded,
while a surgeon carved a football
shaped hole from my left shoulder.
It's just a precaution, mind you,
like the way that some of the birds
don't drop at all, but immediately
spread their wings, cleaving sky.
And while they stitched the skin of my back,
knitting me together, puppet-like,
I could still see,
in the mind's roving eye,
birds dropping against the grey backdrop of sky, and
trees reminiscent of that painting by Friedrich.
The one where all the cowled monks slouch
towards the abbey, waiting for the breath of God,
like wind unseen, to carry them skyward.