Doug May

The Bird of Cold Nights

I�ve never seen him, only
Heard a scraping caw
And muffled knock
Of wings.

The houses here
Sleep like knights
In barrels of straw,

An orphan wakes
With a tuning fork
Frozen to his tongue

And crumbling hymns
Of black moss
Pillowing his head.

He is the one
Who migrates
Further into himself

After hummingbirds
And starlings abandon
Whey-colored afternoons,

Too late for him
To return home

Too early to
Pick up the cards
Sparkling like diamonds
On brittle green stalks.

DOUG MAY lives with his sister and three elderly dogs in central Phoenix. His poetry has previously appeared in North Dakota Quarterly, Cream City Review, Beloit Poetry Journal, Allegro, Fennel Stalk and other publications. He has a mild mental handicap and worked unskilled jobs for many years. He also plays piano, draws portraits and paints primitive figures.

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