There is a storm of wings, all at once, they beat the air like engines, like eyelids.
Their paths are faint sounds, humming in your eyes, like heartbeats.
You say “We make the road by walking.”
You say your feet hurt, tired and dusty from sand castles scattered like pages.
We learn as children to follow the stars, so rarely seen anymore,
we tell stories about their weight, tight knots of light, fists clenched in the sky.
All the birds have fallen out of the sky like dumb stones, and you are in the field
building cairns out of their bodies. Piles of wings and beaks and tiny hearts mark your path.
By Joshua C. Stearns
(for Andrew Roberts on his birthday)