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Adam Clay

What Happened

I caught a bird in this piano. The fearful song,
Flapping wings, strings struck by a feathered body
Rhymed like the curve of a bone bent almost
To break: Sweet, dead Silencer, most suddenly clear.

A cracked door let a stream of light in
And the pear I held sucked up the song,
Turned to rot: a small sea, the bursting forth,
The simple commerce of bird and tree.

But the light that showed my face this room
Is a dance no one remembers. If I could touch
That bird right now, if I could eat that pear,
Oceans would be too quiet to remain eternal.

Fetters of ice and blood, I can’t sing what I heard:
The history of this room is out of tune.


From The Wash – Parlor Press, 2006