Laura Maher


The night I watched the hawk rip apart a pigeon
in a second-story windowsill,
I was dressed as a bird.            Red feather and flame,
men kept remarking, “You make a good bird lady.” Feathers drifted

into the street. In other words, there was a swift movement
followed by a slow movement.            What I thought that night
was that the hawk looked at us but really
           he looked beyond us.

Someone was taking a video recording on his phone.
Someone else gasped. A child was dancing and singing to herself in the street.
All those feathers falling.         (What is that riddle
about a pound of feathers and a pound of bricks? The answer is that the mind

outweighs the body. All a body knows is the scrape of feathers swallowed.)
What I thought that night
           was there is something to be said
about being taken. (Was the pigeon dead before it was devoured?)

That night I loved the hawk—its brindled feathers, its hollow bones,
                                           eyes like black marbles.

That night I wasn’t sure if I could love anything that didn’t try to kill me.

That night other people’s bodies blocked all the wind.