Click the arrow on the audio player to hear Vanesha Pravin read this poem. You can also download the recording or subscribe to Slate's Poetry Podcast on iTunes.
Birds strung on high-tension wires,
my tongue heavy in its thick hot nest,
I slip out. Arch Drive quiet.
Lily doing downward dog.
A few leaves float in the pool.
Arkady working on his children's
book with a message, about cats
in dogface in a minstrel show.
The convenience store where
I was asked to become an escort.
The cafe where paparazzi
camp out with telephoto lenses.
It's snowing. Rivers of fire
cut through mountains.
Chaparral burns, everyone
saying hello, hello. I try
to belong, to mimic sounds.
It's snowing. We wear masks.
We're all very nice. Sentient
beings, birds struck from the sky.