Author's Note: I look forward to the day when I might walk the Palo Alto Marshes again, but for now, I am happy to commune with birds at home on the Long Beach peninsula.
Walking the Palo Alto Marshes in my Red Coat
Say mud flat, salt marsh, bittern, egret. Say egret without thinking regret one letter away. Say morning is a gift. Say the mud flat is a silver tray. Say birds sing like an orchestra tuning. I am looking for a prayer. I am walking for the saving incantation. I am working at metaphor. Say blackbird. Say red wings like epaulets of blood. Say heart: red four-chambered room. Say womb, breast, cradle, boat. Say desire. Say desire: dark and fathomless, the iris of an eye, your eye, the sea. Say desire, which is the boat. I am wearing my red coat against the cold.
Originally published in Mansions, Event Horizon, 1990
©2021 Donna Hilbert
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