inspired by Rick Moody


          Birds touch the sky, birds touch the sky. Birds, in spirit and in actuality, touch the sky. The tiniest sparrows, crouched in the red maple tree of a backyard, surveying the overgrown lawn, touch the sky. The mighty eagles, wings outstretched, gliding on the uncertain winds of a thousand heart beats, touch the sky. Birds, the chickens fleeing from the ravenous foxes, scattered feathers below the sanctuary of the coop, touch the sky. Birds, penguins, ostriches, kakapos, the robin with the torn wing, and the sitting ducks, touch the sky.

          Birds touch the sky, singing to the heavens. The murder of crows haunting the soccer field blanketed in mist peck at the morning dew and caw. In the streets of The Big Apple, the angelic rats voice their chorus of gentle coos. The muck of the pond is protected by the Canadian Geese, defending their treasured territory with an onslaught of honks as fierce as divine retribution. Birds touch the sky.

          Birds touch the sky, traveling as flocks, families, companions, and drifting travelers. Birds touch the sky with the tips of their wings. Birds touch the sky with the sharpest of beaks. Birds touch the sky with their talons. Birds touch the sky with their talons that rake across the eyes of Man. The cassowaries pierce through the necks of their attackers, trampling and clawing until they no longer move. The ravens torment the minds of poets as a forgotten whisper. Within the blink of an eye, the skittish hummingbirds are gone, disappearing like pixies amongst the bloody honeysuckles. The elegant swans of grace and beauty hiss like hydras through the curtain of willows. The Barn owls ensnare the unsuspecting rabbits in the dead of night, assassins more silent than the moon above. Birds touch the sky, birds touch the sky, birds touch the sky.

          Wax and feathers melt away in the light of the gods and crash into the hungry waters below. Ash wood and fabric will evolve into sheets of metal and bottled up lightning, breathed to life by the rotting exhale of a vulture. Birds touch the sky, their hollow bones buried in the ground echo their lives before them. On the fifth day birds touched the sky, God dragging His paintbrush across the canvas of a million feathers, and He saw that it was good. The sunsets of flamingos, the emerald fields of peacocks, the clouds of doves, the dust and ash of emus, the brilliant constellations of snowy plovers, birds touch the sky, birds touch the sky, birds touch the sky.

          The ever-burning phoenix, the Golden Goose, the mountainous Roc looming overhead, the feathers of quetzals fit for a ruler. Here is where they lay: in every forest symphony are the woodpeckers, in every scrap of boardwalk fries are the seagulls that feast like kings, in every ocean breeze are the albatrosses seeking land, and in every foggy breath of winter are the cardinals and blue jays chasing the warmth of the evergreens. Birds touch the sky, birds touch the sky.


Rey Tello

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