Dawn bleeds up
across the East.
Birds land outside the window
Gone: no flying away,
no falling from. It’s a puzzle.
People talk about it at first,
then all at once stop talking altogether.
They’re trying to mourn the birds
but the required words seem to be
gone. Gone: no corrupted tongues, no
disrupted speech, just gone words
falling out of the dictionary.
Maybe ants are picking them up
and taking them
deep into their hills,
and maybe that works for whoever
is taking the birds
because no one can mourn
or protest or even mention it
if they cannot say
what it is that’s missing.