Double-crested cormorant gold bill pointed
skyward before you dive, I’m already
missing you. Native in three realms
at least, and I’m queasy here
on the porch, just in time to heed you
knowing to go deep today, into
the fundamental roots anchoring
my mistakes. Yesterday I stretched
far past my former limits
seeking to duplicate my youth, perhaps.
In the tenuous now I’m tremulous
as the earth shifts beneath me.
I’m longing for the easy paddle
through the surface. My hunger
dissipated, dehydrated, headachy
with clouds of pain and sorrow,
even the sun brightening above
is too much, though I’m still here.
In the deep night, summoned by the
moon, I tried to see the hole
of my absence through the years,
to know my worth through casual
eyes of friends and family, immersed
in their own trials, appearing
distant in the false narrative
of separation. Listen, I know well
the claw that raked through me
unsettling to the depths I avoid
brought all this surfacing, my grip
holding the wriggling essential
truths of my existence like the morning
catch. And though I imagine letting
go, life keeps me holding on and
rising, dripping, from the dark
places, flying to the top of this
nearby tree. What feeds me emerges
infusing every molecule of stardust.
Eyes closed, I swear
a bird I’ve never heard is
chirruping, insistent, my name.