A bird sitting on a ledge

Gliding over floodwaters, a raven scans the horizon while another listens to the wind. None of their mocking deceits are of use now, just imagining dry ground, mountainside perches in dead trees, and all the carrion the rippling expanse will yield.

On a sloped mesa brushed by warm breezes and thick with poppies in bloom, yellow and orange, look to the red sun low over the blue water and remember, deep in the canyon, just past the gray boulders, the two black birds pecking and picking at the eyes and ears.

The most impeccable mimic courts mockery. To see and listen to the point of synesthesia may imply concord but also blind silence, silent blindness. Yet a void of sight and sound, opening, might allow audiovisuals to arrive and remain distinct.

Two circle back and observe, chattering and wing gesturing. They dip over a ridge. Returning, one carries a small bottle, which the bird drops to the road. The bottle breaks. The other lands, grabs a shard with its beak, takes off. The birds fly from view.

After a canyon walk at dusk, return to the car, get in, lock the doors, crack a window, switch off the interior light, tilt back the seat. Shrouded by heavily tinted glass, sink into the plush black upholstery. Breath slows. Eyes close. A raven peers into the darkness.

Poetry & Photo: © Robert Savino Oventile 2023

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