In the hour of the birds
In the seasons of the times
it goes by in frozen
metal frames…In frozen metal frames did I
but once see your face under bridges. Dark lights. Under bridges I walk
and the passing streetcars fly. We announce our bodies
to the lights. Then we present the birds as burnt
offerings. But they will not burn…
The black ice that sits on top of bridges. Bridges say something
for birds calling in distress. We wait.
Under the bellies of the Danish Red,
little swallows fly under, then perch
holy and unburdened on the backs of cattlehead
and then they sing in the
symphonies in the hours of waiting.
In frozen metal frames did I but
once see your face under bridges. Streetcars
passing. I often go there, but it is not a bridge anymore
covered in the thinning sheets of black ice. Danger.
No. It is the thinning. The framed-air among us
hot and somehow Red. Birds perched on the backs of grey-stones.
Grey-stones etched with your
name in it.
This cemetery surrounded by grass growing.
I looked out over the heads of stones and when I looked I was startled at that green field
I mistook for bridges framed in iced-air… I glimpsed, I shook, for the
world had not yet presented to me Danish Red.
E. R. Vanett was born in South Bend, Indiana and holds a Bachelor’s of Arts in English Literature from Indiana University. Vanett’s work has been published in the Oakland Arts Review in 2019, and has also received the undergraduate poetry prize in 2018 in Analecta.