On the Backs of Birds

And not even the wisest man
will sleep soundly, without

burning. Without escaping

the breadth of fire. When we
cease to glow, we become

a tree. A stone. The last lines
of a short story read aloud

in the thimble of the night
to a sleeping child. A fragile hand

relaxing to its bed. Like feathers

loosening on the waxen

backs of birds. Like flame
in the lovely shape of wing.

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