A bird stands with its mouth open,
its air sacs bulging into its bones: noon heat
overwhelming a flitting body

that knows how difficult it is
to sustain levitation: heaviness
stammering us down.

Its choked motion locked in circularity,
the meandering muscle wears time away.
Unable to cease desiring (the racing

of the mind to higher discoveries),
it holds on, its exhaustion more,
its patience less than Job's.

Our constant flicker
renders us less visible, more blurred,
imprecise as a string of infinite suppositions
but the desire to rise,
which seems too theatrical,
sends our hearts beating

as fast as traffic in Boulevard du Temple,
where a boot-black
buffs polish hurriedly, his breath
quickening, his hands fluttering,
mad but invisible
in Louis Jacques' first daguerreotype.



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