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Vespers at Pacifico’s

People have no interest in the slightest
but those are swifts dipping down
to lift off milli-sips of kinking
necklaced noon-light
restive on the surface now re-rippled
by the beak one forks
at the closest interstitial moment.
It snips the pool minutely.
The tail is short compared to the swallow
and swifts have scythe-like wings—
it cannot land so spends its life aloft,
declining, sometimes, into mine.
A woodpecker makes itself distinct
from a distance. Its brisk retort
on dead oak trunk is instinct, and this
its district, and this its call to
order, and this its palate cleanser. Nothing
but a woodpecker organizes so
much energy in such a tiny space, then quits.
It flits again, is gone quick and
then again and again high, in the cedars,
behind the pavilion. There is this
energy. Bewildering. In real time I lag
behind il tempo vero as the well-
thumbed world slides out of true again.
Abruptly cicadas in concert switch
off, and it’s only endless till it’s not,
till the sun consents and bats come.

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