Birdsongs 1. I came back to the place, found only a flock of doves pecking at scraps in the street, cooing in communion. Was that you speaking? 2. I have read that bird colonies on isolated rocky outposts can be millions strong, a mass of squawking eternal. Yet amidst the cacophony, a child always knows the mother’s call, can always pick it out, can always be heard in response, can always be fed. This is how birds are made. 3. I’m trying to write a gospel of bird noises, but I’ll be damned to make any sense of them. The sounds themselves are simple, but the tones shift like fault lines, the pitches rise and fall like tides. It’s impossible to know whether each trill is admonishment or admiration, whether the barely whispered cooooo is the tenderness of a lover’s kiss or the quiet mourning of a broken heart. 4. The voice erupts, an atom bomb detonated in the sky, whipping clothes in its wind, drawing blood from ruptured eardrums. There is nothing like it. The closest you can get on your own is to jam quill pens into the sides of your head: a flagellation of words, an auditory stigmata, an imitation of birdsong.
Matthew J. Andrews is a private investigator and writer who lives in Modesto, California. His poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Funicular Magazine, The Inflectionist Review, Red Rock Review, Sojourners, Kissing Dynamite, and Deep Wild Journal, among others. He can be contacted at matthewjandrews.com