Today's poem is by Michael Hettich

The Colorblind Man

I drove by a parking lot full of black birds
on my way to the beach for a swim. Black birds
were floating in the waves, just beyond the breakers
where the water gets deep. There was no one else

at the beach, so I took off my suit and swam naked
which was a great relief. The black birds flew up
into the sky as I swam out. There were other birds
in the sky, almost out of sight, circling. They were black too.
My body felt pale in the cool water, which was clogged

with seaweed filled with small eels, which tickled
harmlessly. And as night fell, bodies
started moving through the water, brushing my legs
and making me sing, which surprised me. But no one
could hear and the bodies were bumping against

my nakedness as though we'd been friends once, long ago,
as the black birds started landing on the beach, huge flocks
that huddled up among themselves and seemed to fall asleep
while the night grew more solid around us.

Copyright © 2013 Michael Hettich All rights reserved
from The Measured Breathing
Swan Scythe Press
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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