Eating Light

Collocations, rifts, brief
cleavings and aversions
come and go as air
prescribes — the maple leaves

tap on glass. Translucent,
the leaves shiver and light
tremors on the uncertain
rumors, whispers

and stammers, motions-to-be
signaled in quick torsions
against the window, muscular
flexion of light and shade;

then all stalls an instant
spurning the glass.
The drifter leaves at
branch tips are

bobbing, the inner leaves
held still, deep in, veins up,
eating the light that scuttles
from leaf to leaf

stem to branch finally
settling like whimsy itself.
Light's easy shuffle
through leaves' decks

and tiers, its glib
feint, dart and flick,
helps hide the whole
swallowing act.

But if you look and look
you catch sight
of light being eaten:
the leaves shine, flicker, then

vanish, and a house finch,
earth brown,
size of the seedpod
it perches by,

settles. Rest wrested from
motion. Consolation?
A light bead trembles, glints.
The bird snaps it up.

Further Reading

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