On the edge of Jardin du Luxembourg nightjars fret
the dark, shrikes pace the grounds, that fierce khanjar
between the eyes. This week chiffchaff clocked in,
flitting branch to branch on stockinged legs, plumage
pale as an emerald soaked in water. Whoever named
them “common” suffers an ordinary mind. Wrens
arrived, too, churring and scolding, singing about love.
Somewhere a peregrine sits above it all in silence,
targeting, eyes ringed in yellow. Valkyrie of dominion.
How often to prey one must be silent and alone.
Whoever named a pistol grip a “bird’s head” was
looking at something without wonder, something dead.