Today's poem is by Matthew Gavin Frank

Parts of a Feather

The superstitious geometry of the rock dove rests
between its first and fifth rib. And you

rest between it, poised as water. It's easy
to call you a disease. Better: a heart or rain

or our dinner plates, last night draped in the leavings
of cherry. Of course, you say, my hands

are the skeletons of everything with wings, hiding
art in their armpits.
You say, a feather stripped

of barbs is bone. I say, Don't get me started
on Venice. Too many chicken frescoes laying

their ossuary, Stravinsky tied with a piano string.
He plucks a music like yolk. Good for you. Bad

for you. Bursting with fat. That was the honeymoon,
whole storms going on in there. Your mother

wouldn't have put up with this. She was too big
a fan of Picasso: an idea is never as interesting

as its ear. So, here we stand, naked as iron,
the puddle for the hail. A marriage license

makes a lousy umbrella and, even worse,
a wonderful canal. But still you convince me,

gravity is only weather, and electricity,
the closing of the beak. Let's stand

outside in it, watch the planes revise Andromeda.
We'll make it. I assure you. Tonight, you play

the worm. Strange how, to fly, the dead bird
needs the hurricane.

Copyright © 2007 Matthew Gavin Frank All rights reserved
from Meridian
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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