High Windows

/ /

This is the job
that finally
they gave me:
in spring, in autumn
to sweep up the bodies
of finches
around the bases
of the crystal-windowed

When I used to sleep
on the streets,
it was similar: one of us
died, the body
would be picked up
but as long as we lived,

It was as though
there were someone somewhere
who said: Let them live.
Let them be
always. Let them
alone. Let us have them
with us
as they are

So strange it was,
and seemed, at first:
one of us disappeared,
no trace, or just
the filthy crumpled
bag of stuff
left in a corner,
but where was she?—until
it ceased to appear,
so often it happened,
a wonder.

Seasonal work,
a job for a while,
to search the long planters
and bases of the walls for birds
who break against windows
in the times of migration:
unable to see
the hardness in the shining
image of the new
more perfect world’s

In the future there are people
who will have to imagine
what world these
words of mine
are living in—imagine it
from their day
in which there is no longer
the knowledge of what
were towers.