Because he doesn’t tire of waking
me, I practice bird calls on
the front porch, keep a whistle in the groove
of my palm. Thinking me
a lover, the small thing preens himself
on the goldenrod. I flap my hands
into jazz. That modal shift.
That pitch swift lift from root
to branch. I know what a mate
sounds like. I put a thumb in my mouth
and pull. I make the rattle call. He moves
to answer, and I open my hands
as if exposing with a narrow beak
the dense fluff of my breast. We are
only the song. The sun, rising,
bares open what’s between us in a wash of milk—
white light. He steps closer, throat open.
Closed. Open again. The tune
quieting under a rush
of wind and leaves until all that’s left
is the sound of wings beating.