You are standing at the edge of the woods
at twilight
when something begins
to sing, like a waterfall
 
pouring down
through the leaves. It is
the thrush.
And you are just
 
sinking down into your thoughts,
taking in
the sweetness of it—those chords,
those pursed twirls—when you hear
 
out of the same twilight
the wildest red outcry. It pitches itself
forward, it flails and scabs
all the surrounding space with such authority
 
you can’t tell
whether it is crying out on the
scarp of victory, with its hooked foot
dabbed into some creature that now
with snapped spine
lies on the earth—or whether
it is such a struck body itself, saying
goodbye.
 
The thrush
is silent then, or perhaps
has flown away.
The dark grows darker.
 
The moon,
in its shining white blouse,
rises.
And whatever that wild cry was
 
it will always remain a mystery
you have to go home now and live with,
sometimes with the ease of music, and sometimes in silence,
for the rest of your life.

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Jamie Lanier
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