Jennifer Angelina Petro
The flock of starlings rises, like a black dot-to-dot,
Lifting from the page, into the air, where it swirls–writhing, like
A confused river tossing and turning—back and forth,
Dizzying the threat of the falcon.
As suddenly as it began it starts to dissolve, each starling
Finding its place on the powerlines and trees, where they breathe
Little sighs of feather-settling relief.
As I sit in my car from the side of the road where I pulled over to watch,
A panic surges within my chest and it seems to me
There is no other way than the lifting of all things—
Moments, friends, kisses, ways of walking and singing—
All things releasing themselves into the unconscious sky,
As if time were shaking off the sheets of the memory.
Suddenly as it began, the panic disperses, my fears
Finding their places coursing through the hollow bones of a faith
That carries me inexplicably over the hillsides and valleys, where death–
That falcon who notices all things–will only fall back
For so long, and yet what I love gathers on higher branches
And upon the lines of the staff of the song the goddess sings
Forming a universe filled with galaxies giving birth to starlings
That, in turn, give birth to entire flocks of revelation—
Wings and hearts swirling into the form of shared communities of hope.