Song of Solomon

I leap towards you, for you, my father,

off of this too soft earth toward your hard heaven

when you will whisper my true name to me,

tell me everything secret bound in the petals

of death.


I fly towards you, empty air below, snake

rocks ripping earth further down

and I gulp the air, lumps of it, fistfuls,

sprouting feathers with each silky taste

of sky, my beak widening

into hard yellow bone, pink tongue

thinning into a needle point.


I arrive where you are; you stroke my wings,

feed me mice that ease down my gullet.

I grip your forearm with my talons,

then you give me my name: Peregrine;

and I screech, I screech.


— by Paul Totah, July 13, 1997

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