by Jennifer Phillips

River in flood, night flocks flickering

among the skyscrapers, down canyoned glass
and concrete tunnels, southing,
all their stars obscured. Even at sunset, brass
reverberation highlighting the ledges,
zigzagging a maze like the airport lighting
flashing along their pattern’s edges,
splash of solar panel panes squaring 
off on rooftops, while all the unseen soft bodies
steer, or smack and ricochet to paving,
losing their way, losing their lives.
In Central Park, the artist paints the same skies,
that glow with missed comets and  lunar eclipses,
with a flock of drones, loose from their hives,
cruising and folding the black air, like a fizz
of fireflies the news compares to starlings’
wondrous convolutions—of all the ironies—
iron substitutions for the flesh and song and wings
belonging even here, city-center, ground zero
for terrors we make in every size. The crows,
tough and wise, don’t migrate much. Sad that we do
not notice, or speak of a murder of swallows.

Jennifer M Phillips is a  bi-national immigrant, painter, gardener, Bonsai-grower. Her chapbooks: Sitting Safe In the Theatre of Electricity (i-blurb.com, 2020) and A Song of Ascents (Orchard Street Press, 2022)A poem is like a little brass pan to carry fire’s coals through the winter weather, and so she writes. 


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