At intervals, new birds arrive. Seeing will seem a gesture
offered back to them, a swinging up to meet their swinging down,
fate made simple by surprise but requiring a changeless act,
as one steps into one’s chamber on a ferris wheel
differently than any other place, as flying first means flying up,
or sitting, sitting down. Before I was moved, I could hear feathers
affect feathers overhead. Sensation of being swung
backward, off, into a fate only a practiced bird would think
to sing, not a feather, not a wing, the whole body
averted, then arrived, and with such a view, as with pain or love.
Kathleen Peirce teaches poetry in the MFA program at Texas State University in San Marcos, Texas. Her books have been awarded The Iowa Prize, The AWP Award for Poetry, and The William Carlos Williams Award. The National Endowment for the Arts, The Whiting Foundation, and the Guggenheim Foundation have provided fellowships in support of her work.