Wednesday, June 08, 2005

The Birth of Angels
By Stephen Dobyns

The heavy-lidded enterprise of the dead
begins with forgetting, ends with forgotten.
Like smoke, so thick at first but higher
just a wisp, until it is indistinguishable

from air. The move from youth to old age,
doesn't it resemble falling, a leaf descending
from white birch to front lawn? You think
it drifts slowly? It plummets. And this well-

dressed elderly man crossing against the light.
At the curb he puts a hand to his chest. He feels
a fluttering which suggests the birth of angels:
a sudden consciousness, the thrashing of wings.

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