A certain kind of brown envelope crushes alacrity. You half expect a puff of wheezing powder to waft out. You will hold your breath. And sit down. Or up, if you are lying. You think, perhaps you are too sensitive, too easily anxious. It will be o.k.! Or not, but you will know. Waiting is the worst. What if it isn’t? You take a deep heaving breath and tear the flap.
That morning you were moved by the poetry in a bird’s name. You threw your voice in the air like a catcher’s net: black – browed – alba – tross, observed how lips, throat, tip of tongue made shapes, made sounds, pushed gravel around in mouth and mind. Made room for flight, traced, measured, cackled, curled.
Now your notes sift rough from raucous: flesh, feathers, talons, beaks. Whites, yellows, ochres blare; a spur of red. Eyes dowsed in night. A crowd of soot-brushed wings. A hungry squawk. A rush, a choke, a cry, and out it hurls.
But all you see is: no.