Through the Looking Glass
Land-starved and stubborn we pile
windows on top of windows and climb
so high everything looks small and distant.
Birds leap into the sky wide-eyed and unbound
and rocket themselves into cloud and blue-
stained glass stunned like butterflies
in freefall spinning and spiraling through
the wind. I heard the thick thump against
the double-pane and caught a mourning dove
as it fell solid as a blood-warm stone in my hands.
Its feathered imprint a chalk outline of wings
and beak left stamped against the looking glass.
Too often we see what we want to see until
it’s too late. I stick vinyl bird-shaped silhouettes
on the reflective surface like dusted ghosts
and recite them as I rub them flat with a card
sparrow, dove, cardinal, blue jay,
finch, mockingbird, grackle, wren.
My boss asks me to watch 16 hours of camera footage. Instead I watch dandelions lose their heads at the slightest breeze. Nearby weeds shed their mustard petals. The sky dares me to name its every shade of blue. Cotton, Chromium, Seafoam, Tremor. There are more important things to worry about today than work, like breathing the grass-cut air, catching the sun’s bright spears. The swollen clouds are an army of angel wings descending. I watch their feathers fall.
Eric Raanan Fischman is an MFA graduate of Naropa University’s Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics. He has taught free writing workshops in Nederland, Boulder, and Longmont, Colorado, and has had work in Bombay Gin, Boulder Weekly, Suspect Press, and many more, as well as in local community fundraising anthologies from Punch Drunk Press and South Broadway Ghost Society. He also curates the Boulder/Denver metro area poetry calendar at boulderpoetryscene.com and is a regular contributor to the BPS blog. His first book, “Mordy Gets Enlightened,” was published through The Little Door in 2017.