Let’s pretend you are going hunting.
You pack your gear: a buck knife, a bow
and arrows cleft from the straight weeds, wild
in my front yard. You perch in a red oak, yearning
for those chilly mornings that signal harvest.
The copper of pine needles falling; whether
you catch me or not is not the point. You look first
at the wandering deer, the bigger prize,
full of meat and bone, with a skin to cure,
but you keep an eye peeled for upland birds too,
smaller, easier to mount once ensnared. You don’t need a guide
to hollow lungs of song. Yes, I said,
birds are easy to work with, their refugee bones
hollowed for flight, so small and delicate,
they may as well not be there. I have always
made myself invisible. I mean to say
I am still—the trembling breath of a comma,
the coincidental object of your want.
Listen to Rajiv Mohabir’s reading of “Preface” below…