We are come late to the love of birds
for we are come late to love.
Before we had been nothing:
a fossilized egg, a tired metaphor, old as mutton.
Now, the sharp twinge of middle age
and we are caught in love’s punctured balloon.
Its banana peel sobriety.
Furred epithet, feathered lash.
We are come late to the mythology of love,
the beefheart stain of the great winged roc
upon the ground of our imaginings,
soft like the centres of certain candies.
Soft like the quilted centres of our beds,
our quivering bird organs.
Give us the sweeping shadow,
down from the mountains of Araby.
Give us the claws that catch
us from the desert path, swoop us,
fat white sheep in the meadow,
into that prickled nest, high, up high.
Originally published in Come Late to the Love of Birds (http://tightropebooks.com/come-late-to-the-love-of-birds-sandra-kasturi/) by Sandra Kasturi, Toronto: Tightrope Books, 2012