Magazine article National Forum

Angle of Migration

Magazine article National Forum

Angle of Migration

Article excerpt

Years before I know how it will turn out, the lines fire will erase from my lips, a kind of map for words disked into earth when it was heavy with sound. I take off my glasses, new sights runny as stars strain beyond a last breath so cold it cracks the reeds around me. I crouch with a shotgun, this moment a robin reeling its pitiful cheeps in the cherry tree outside my cat has crept to the end of thin branches to kill. It gets dark. Fire twists through long bones, makes sound like reeds with their throats cut. Cold it occurs a heat of years rubbing on years and I prefer this dead light, dark. It comes down to space: space between stars, between a cat's claws and a bird, between that cat and the ground or the space to the cabinet where my shotguns sleep. You wouldn't think ten paces were so great a distance, but I have measured it in sleep, gotten lost along the way, The lake, too, is accessible, the ducks themselves a pattern of shot fanning their tight furnaces of muscle and bone, heading south toward heat a terrible determination I never disrupt, pausing to put on glasses, rehearsing the shot I am unable to make amid the music of wings. …

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