The Languages of Birds

He tells me, “You have the aura of a woman who’s secretly in possession of a collection of rare, and privileged information.” He tugs his hat. I say nothing, for a time, then tell him of the first red tree I have seen this autumn.

I leave things undefined. How many times I have wondered if language is a flaw of our design, and if the meadow is better at speaking her mind than I will ever be.

I can not fathom being truly indifferent to anything. Always I must have an opinion. Always I want to feel the feelings sudden and daggering inside of me, like stepping on a thumbtack. How else can I know its there?

He wants to discuss the psychology of Batman, again. I don’t dislike this, but I find myself preoccupied by the trill of a bird; it’s a call I can’t place. What is it?

It is hard to imagine that at one time I had no knowing of what the call of a bird sounded. As a babe, outside, hearing that wild twill-le-le-le-le-looo –

how startling and wondrous it must have been.

I can not remember. But I can remember the old Carnegie Library, the green carpet, the large staircase. By the time I left my small town it was falling apart and covered in pigeon droppings, their feathers piled upon its weathered steps like discarded woes.

What the hell do I seem to a bird? Some lumbering loud biped, with gobbledygook speech, wide forward-facing eyes, grounded, freakish nude skin, communicator who flails its front limbs, bearer of the strangest mating practices in all the animal kingdom. A complete horror.

Or, does the bird listen to my words, and hear the sweetest song. Comes to my window in the morning so to swim in my waking moans and mumblings. When I come down the path does its heart perform loop-de-loops? In its acorn sized mind does it hold a book, and has it categorized me – in the same way I have categorized it – and does it dog-ear the corner of the page, so to find me with ease next time I pass by.

He tells me, “You are a woman who is always somewhere else, yet somehow right here.”

I tell him, “You are a person who always wants to know what other people know, wants to be where other people are, as long as they can’t see you. I think we are both here, having coffee.”

“Amen to that.” he says. We toast to our inability, our knowing we are only ever ourselves, ever left alone to our own imaginings.

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