ISSUE 5 · FALL 2010







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Copyright © 2010

Nathaniel Taggart

How to Fall Down


The birds are unfixed furniture. Humming

wings spill ink on the canvas,

the floral abundance of the rock garden

drowned in the blood of a buckshot rainbow.

Two birds are the same bird.

And the third bird.

And the fourth bird’s miraculous needlework

conveys space to and from this panorama—

wings swing so quick as to seem

the folds of bedding accordioned

by morning sex.

Chromatic garden, green garden sacrificed

—and quiet trumped too—

by the confusion of

I either hear or don’t hear.

The colors are there. And maybe

the sweep of their falling in riffles of diced air

tasting of dust on my Geographic Tongue.

Maybe it’s still

silent, soon to be broken by

what I won’t need to strain

to think I hear.

There is rest in what is,

but no rest from what

might. The garden is peaceful and

at war (it’s going to happen).

The sky is peeled in jet trails by so many

birds, and trees, filled,

sing but (really)

they scream.

Everything, always, at once:

The rainbow spills its death

over Natalie’s powder-pink

flowered stonecrop. All the birds

are the same bird and

sickened by what is about to—

the concrete hits hard.