Months of flying gave way to claws thawing
a greening branch, pushing leaves. We were
trailing the sun’s arms, her fingers pointing to
tepid soil, the earth laboring lightly,
and all we had to do is fall into the rays
for a long pause until the twigs came
to meet us. When deep within the trunk
still, they were already choosing
a velvet robe. They knew we’d be featherlight,
draped in plums and downs, our bodies
more weightless than the winds we’d sailed.
We were arctic tern, godwits
bar-tailed and not,
we were cranes and Candian geese,
we were curlews turning up
on featureless, tidal mudflats. We’ve ebbed
the breadth between the mud and the moon,
and now our beaks kiss crustaceans one day
and worms the next
until the sun’s limbs bare flyways,
and we’re bound over.