Bird brain

the indignant desert birds

are nothing compared to the flocks of
canadian geese hooting and stomping by
the fox river, or tittering hordes of black
bodies in bushes that chitter scream

and wrestle, unseen, shivering branches
like god’s voice across the parking lot. spring
brings a conflagration of feathers, a rising tide
of robins on lawns, the cardinals’ call and

response across campus, and bully crows
shredding the house finches’ nests. if birds
are psychopomps, ferrying messages back
from the dead, whose indignant complaints

rain down from the trees? whose warnings
follow me from car to sidewalk to sagging Hall,
where empty corridors and crucifixes glow
dully, and wordless, in ancient yellow light?

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