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I can only wonder
at this blurred
whir of evidence, clouded
in the blue fan
of a thousand
wings. I want
to feel
their million beats
per second on my beard
and lashes,
from each swig,
the dozen
manic intervals,
stomach a zoom
to the forsythia, whose
scream of tender yellow
faded and fell
last week.
can mere filaments
in tiny shoulders
and reflex so fast?
can miniscule
sipping, the sucking
through a needle beak,
fuel a miniature tyrant’s
relentless burn?
in the resting,
which is not even
a breath,
how rapid
the saturation
of liquid sugar
into blood, into
wing muscle, into
instinctual motive
for a horizontal
life? And how
rapid the

—first published in Diner

Photo by Ramona Edwards on Unsplash

D.R. James

D. R. James lives in the woods outside Saugatuck, Michigan, and has recently retired from Hope College after 37 years of teaching writing, literature, and peace studies. His most recent of ten collections is Mobius Trip (Dos Madres Press, 2021).