Poetry Issue 2

   Issue#2: Jan - Mar 2003

Jose Perez Beduya


A Distribution


      Twilight, the starlings

        gather and become less
      of each one. Like particulates

      dissolving in solution,

        they diminish into a difficult
      pattern woven in flight.

        Theirs is a form
      of democracy denser
      at the center while less

        frantic at the hem
      where the first to break
        away is the first to be counted,

      as when the configuration catches
      against a steeple and rips

        into nine birds on a cross--

      four on each arm and one

        on the tip of the head.
      Everywhere their bodies

      fall they fit, a quickness

        for structure thickening
      shingles and ledges like tiers,

        inhabiting a temporary
      hierarchy in the trees. It is a slow
      transaction this billowing out

        between stations. In flight
      or as stones at the end
        of a long trajectory, it seems

      the birds arrive at a sum
      only to count, cluster

        by cluster, backwards

      from it. In transition, what the starlings

        fashion is an elastic
      map out of air and space,

      an elsewhere invisible

        and abstract if not
      for the hard coordinates

        of their bodies-coins,
      knots that loosen and fall
      taut against the world's fixed symmetries.