A secret came a week ago though I already
knew it just beyond the bruised lips of consciousness.
The very alive souls of thirty-five hundred dead birds
are harbored in my body. It’s not uncomfortable.
I’m only temporary habitat for these not-quite-
weightless creatures. I offered a wordless
Jim Harrison was born on December 11, 1937, in Grayling, Michigan. He received his BA and MA in comparative literature from Michigan State University. He is the author of several works of fiction and nonfiction, screenplays, and more than fifteen collections of poetry, including Dead Man's Float (Copper Canyon Press, 2015), Songs of Unreason (Copper Canyon Press, 2011), and Braided Creek: A Conversation in Poetry (with Ted Kooser) (Copper Canyon Press, 2003). He is the recipient of fellowships from the Guggenheim Fellowship and the National Endowment for the Arts, and he was elected into the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 2007. He lived in Montana and Arizona until his death on March 26, 2016.