The dreams they reach long after their reach is squandered, the sails they set bound for the bottom of the ocean, the stars they follow just the fizzle of ice and breached atmosphere. The wings they spread not yet ready to steady them in flight, they take to the sky and fall just a little slower. The broken fall a first flight, the tide of sleep long since lost to the dusk. Ants clambering to the task of the dead bird in the gutter. The fledgling crying out from the low part of the fence.
The bite set into the bitter, the smile broken, caught in the tall weeds of this enduring sickness. The day battered by gust and breeze, wheezing on its hinges, banging into the building. Hunger and thirst lost in fields of anise and thistle, of ragweed and burr clover. Bee and blossom, thorn and wound, everything lost and counted. The tinny inscription, the untuned guitar. Every piece, a party to the grand conspiracy. Every part a cleaving towards the whole.
I am that last message sealed in a bottle. The djinni shed of everything but the containment. The magic sawed clean through. My back bends, my shoulders sag, the bones all chant their lamentations. The fallen star, the baby bird, the reckoning of nest and hive. Chained to the turning and the tithe, that price claimed by tribe and clan, the pirate booty and third law recanted by the backwash of gravity's tepid onslaught. The air above is bowed and blue, startled looking as the last light leaves. I am entombed in these unsettling claims, the distant voices, the slivered moon.