Audience of One


I took my repose in pillows and white linen
         of thought in the balmy first days of spring
                    the soft warm threads wrapping around me
a cocoon of fragrant ether and antiseptic skin

         the swirling chitter of a flock of tiny birds
                    verges in the lemon tree just over the fence
and lifts me from my easy catatonia
         in unison with their breaking beaks

                    nipping and worrying, waking my naked skin
a dozen at a time tugging at it
         as if struggling to extract an incredulous worm
                    or dress a shy damsel for her celluloid fate

I emerge where the world meets
         my skin it burns off and freezes off
                    where is the dream that was lulling me
where is my facile death

         the tremolo of wind-bowed branches
                    pedals beneath the twitters and chirps
to lead the ear from the sirens in the streets
         like opium from a distant, Yeatsian world

                    the tufted, lofting greens and blues
distract the eye from the harsh field of sun
         it slinks away from
                    like a chagrined cat whose prey has flown

pretty feathers piled onto bleached pages
         cannot fly fingering the un-fetched moon
                    a dark cloud trails across the light
and for a moment I look up

         fingers fanning over shuttered eyes
                    shadows of flight

Kevin Cornwall © All rights reserved.

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