after the downpour, in the early evening, late sunlight glinting off the raindrops sliding down the broad backs of the redbud leaves beside the porch, beyond the railing, each leaf bending and springing back and bending again beneath the dripping, between existences, ecstatic, the souls grow mischievous, they break ranks, swerve from the rigid V's of their migration, their iron destinies, down to the leaves they flutter in among, rising and settling, bodiless, but pretending to have bodies, their weightlessness more weightless for the ruse, their freedom freer, their as-ifs nearly not, until the night falls like an order and they rise on one vast wing that darkens down the endless flyways into other bodies. Nothing will make you less afraid.
From Old War by Alan Shapiro. Copyright © 2008 by Alan Shapiro. Reprinted by permission of Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.