Ornithogothic

“O swallow, calligraphy,
clockhand minus minutes,
early ornithogothic,
heaven’s cross-eyed glance,”
—Wisława Szymborska, “Commemoration”

Here, where buttresses truly fly
or merely the early bird gets
the carcass of a clandestine sea monster
before others wake.

There, where I am lagoon swill
that seeks a culvert
into the bay. Tidal flushing,
I’m more brackish than salty comeback.

Wherever inverted umbrellas
floating overhead
bounce the day’s first light,
the lovers swim ahead to have a look.

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