Barbara Black
Strange Attractors

Make the birds sing slower, make me listen faster.”
Leonard Cohen, Beautiful Losers.

Chaos boy, our world was unfinished
when you were burnt. O you,
forgotten in the ashes, are back.

With brittle tinder, you rebuild your passion,
your rage, inflaming the chimney
with your pitchy smoke.

I remember your talent with fire,
how you could make love to the head of a match,
how you dreamed your spectacular eternal cure.

I leave you to consume yourself,
while beyond this ruin
tiny birds rasp their stricken songs.

My work is to transcribe their music.

Photo by John Oughton