blackbird online journal spring 2002 vol.1 no. 1



Homage to Tom Andrews

     The birds break and wheel.
Fall out of, back into, their loose-
     weave wave. Define a falling
arc. They fall like dark water
     or a chain of dark molecules
that ripples and falls like water.
     How they dis- and re- and dis-
order themselves—then do it
     again, altered almost imperceptibly
this time by a crabby cabbie's
     double beep-beep. Gray birds, gray
sky: one more dirty daily miracle
     I hold out to you. Dear Tom,
how's heaven? Here in Astoria
     it's January, month of the two-faced
god, and I look both ways
     before crossing the street to reach
this better vantage point, here
     beneath a flashing orange
hand: not a wave, but a warning.
     There must be a formula
to account for these wheels
     and arcs, these waves. A how,
if one has the patience, needs the proof;
     if beauty is, again, not enough,
even in Queens. If we keep
     wishing for a story, a
song, some lovelier way to say
     what happens, then deeper
down let us find a why and, further
     still, its echo: a why not
that makes this music. Til then,
     Tom, I won't let anyone ask me
why I'm trying so hard not
     to forget they're just pigeons,
but to forget that word just.  

return to top