National Poetry Month in the Valley: "Murmuration"

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I don’t like birds. Born in the land
of the sea pigeon—gulls that
squawked and took my food—I’ve
grown an appreciation for distance
between me and the winged, will
cross a street before facing off with
the bold iridescence of a city bird.
Still, I can’t refuse the awful beauty
of a murmuration, the fluid twist of
patterns imprinted above winter-
bare trees, November’s mourning
moon cresting the horizon of late
afternoon. I try to make meaning
of the swoop and glide—the
gradients of black reshaping
themselves in sky—the way we all
try to stave off the fear of the
propulsive nothingness—the
hollow dark from which we come
only to which we will return—in
new formations, flapping together
in isolation.

Chet’la Sebree, “Murmuration.” Copyright © 2020 by Chet’la Sebree.
Previously published in Tender Revolt (May 2020).


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