The Accident

While it was happening,

the absolute
not me of it, the all

of a sudden see—
through whirr of wings beside me

that the late sun
just as I looked up

turned into a hovering
flash, a watery grey—

green iridescence
as the beak dipped into

a funnel of blossom,
dipped and was gone, and not even

the blossom’s white
tip bent in its going,

or shivered—

While this, which could have happened

without me, here
or elsewhere, happened the way

it did, and would
continue happening

for others, for no one,
for nothing but the blind urge

of its happening,
this ever transient

crossing of momentums

that was, in this case,
beautiful but could

have not been and so
seemed all the more consoling

for the thought—

even the thought of death,

just then, consoling,
shaping itself inside me

as the now there
now not there hovering

of bird, flower, late
sun iridescences—

beloved singers,
you who in the aftermath

surged from the shadows
to sing in your different voices

the same song. Route
of evanescence, Mother

of beauty, It
avails not, time nor place,

distance avails not,

if you had known, just then,

three hundred miles
away, in another state,

that one of the nurses
getting my brother up

from the commode
and back to bed, the one

who held him on
his left side, the dead side,

all of a sudden
lost hold of him and, as

he fell hard, grabbed
for the loose papery gown

and ripped it off,
so that he lay there naked,

utterly exposed—

beloved singers, tricksters

of solace, if
you had known this, seen

this, as I did not,
you would have offered him

no sumptuous
destitution, no fire-

fangled feathers,
or blab about death as being

luckier than one
supposes. You would have bowed

your heads, you would
have silently slipped back

into the shadows
out of which you surged forth,

singing to me.