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Small Study

Emily Wilson
Sparrows swiveling the feeder
so the seed whorls
so the dove can come from its fix
in the waver of cedars.
Some one makes a husk note
that a pair can flare into as if 
built from that scutch
of the undergrowth—
roughening birds, birds skimming into 
slits they fit into in trees between 
loads of the branches—
through paths
through encampment
go dozens who work the steep yews
combing the motes of the dove or
milling its ground, shifting its bandings
of gray and mole gray, taupe and slate gray
beginning to scuff
into lozenges, drab and saxe blue—
one of them nicking
the field where there's tilt
off center
flocked in the shreds of new balsam
or come from the rendering
junctions or sorts through the deal—
afterward seamed in the fledge—
coal and flush gray, fuse and rush wove or
let go

From Micrographia. Copyright © 2009 by Emily Wilson. Used with permission of The University of Iowa Press.

From Micrographia. Copyright © 2009 by Emily Wilson. Used with permission of The University of Iowa Press.

Emily Wilson

by this poet

poem
The mordants in their noise,
the night transports.

A means of coming to
the switchyard of the tongue.

To have once
set such store by

forced creatures.
Not changed toward

something of my own.
The towns raised chaffed

seas to ground them.
In that frieze before

storm you went on.
Effigy loomed out

of
poem
1
Native it seems to no part
of the North American continent
but some islets off
the rugged scarps of the Aleutians
in the loose entablatured cliffs
among dwarf-willow tips.
Known if at all by its silhouette
(we can know such things by their silhouettes)
the red-legged kittiwake
glimpsed in isolate parts of