There were feathers and the light that passed through feathers.
There were birds that made the feathers and the sun that made the light.
The feathers of the birds made the air soft, softer
than the quiet in a cocoon waiting for wings,
stiller than the stare of a hooded falcon.
But no falcons in this green made by the passage of parents.
No, not parents, parrots flying through slow sleep
casting green rays to light the long dream.
If skin, dew would have drenched it, but dust
hung in space like the stoppage of
time itself, which, after dancing with parrots,
had said, Thank you. I'll rest now.
It's not too late to say the parrot light was thick
enough to part with a hand, and the feathers softening
the path, fallen after so much touching of cheeks,
were red, hibiscus red split by veins of flight
now at the end of flying.
Despite the halt of time, the feathers trusted red
and believed indolence would fill the long dream,
until the book shut and time began again to hurt.
|From The Last Skin by Barbara Ras. Copyright © 2010 by Barbara Ras. Used by permission of Penguin.|