Before the bees enchant the bottle brush, before the sun illuminates the heights of the crooked pines, the crows reach the sky. Raucous upon the swaying cypress, spreading their shadows across the eaves, always calling. The glide and fly and dive and soar, mingling the wind with their whims, aiming their swift ink towards feast or threat or declamation. With a cry and a flutter, a crow bends the bough above me. I scuff the pavement, and wander as I must.
Such a cold blue, such a fitful wind-- at such a moment spring is only rumor among the winged and the wild. Only this chorus of black feathers are honest brokers along the borders of the sun and the season. Ever the early bird, they beckon to their numbers, noting enmity and chance as it is strewn through out the streets and landscape. Glide past the solar panels and ancient aluminum aerials, soar above the palm fronds, chuckle coarsely at the fleeting gods. Heaven is only in this moment the firmament to drape their shrouds, common and as eternal as any loose assembly of mysterious heroes. The earth is the lamentable tangle of feet and ankles, the crowded lanes of the fallen and the banished, where they only pause to feast and revel. Their long hall bends past the lightening horizon, Valhalla brushed with wicked laughter.
I fall below the long gaze. I scramble with the children of wolves and the last chimpanzees. The day beckons to blossom and sparrow, to all the furtive hungers and flitting nerves. Speeding metal and the tide of tarmac that never subsides. I live among the prayers for folding paper and the statues made for ideas long after our tribes abandoned understanding the world. The rising of the plastic bag, the migration of the herd of fast food detritus and unslaked appetites. There is a host above that knows us, skimming above the mystery of whispers of radiation and below our blind eyes just past the atmosphere. We are the marks of the long con, the meat for the last best feast we will ever attend. The crow unfolds the map that exactly matches the world, and without a glance, leaves it behind.