Emily Dickinson

The Birds Reported from the South

who are the acrobats of Death; who witness from His chandeliers trembling with effort, eyes cocked at the ceiling for portent of fire: the feathers they forfeit fall as snow in Minnesota. A briefly mutual gaze is the whole of our acquaintance, my high-minded gull, my dear, quixotic mynah: our eyes betray a knowledge of rigidity onstage, then you turn away softly, to toss a twig or blade. Hail, red-eyed pigeon; prancing sparrow, hail. Tonight we file together, at some distance, to the show.

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