A mockingbird just landed on the railing.
It stares through me as if I were not here.
I may not be here.
True, I may have passed through
and left a mark in the air
but that bird either sees it
and sees nothing worth imitating,
nothing calling out for it to copy,
or it sees nothing at all.
We are three feet apart.
I am not moving. My body
will not move toward the light,
or perhaps light
will not fix itself upon me.
I sit in the shade
and the bird sees nothing
or sees me and does not care.
I hold my breath
and hope to exist again, differently,
when the bird is gone, if I have existed at all;
I feel like a ghost
or spirit honored
by this bird’s disregard, so often
have I been an object of fear;
if I resume presence
upon its departure
may I remain less terror than landscape,
less threat than fellow being to all.