Home > Animals in the City > How To Explain The Birds That Sing At 3 A.M.

How To Explain The Birds That Sing At 3 A.M.

May 9, 2013

by Daniel Hales

There’s a book in the next room that will tell their names, parse these notes, this sequence. On another shelf, none of this exists.

A sentry in a distant outpost listens, reports into his broken transmitter
“the clarity of their polyphony… the most precise measure of… that exists…
the fluidity of each arpeggio… the rate of a warble’s latency…
the depth at which a trill dissolves into its own reverb…”

 

*       *       *

 

They are conducting market research

Programming would not be possible without the underwriter’s support

Nature’s finest nesting adhesive

Worms sweet as hummingbird nectar

They have found their nest on Google Earth
They are calling everyone over to see

They are sending friend requests to you and me

 

*       *       *

 

I faintly hover, rehearsing the details of a favorite flying dream, trying to initiate myself into its secret society. It’s what I clothe my insomnia in.

 

*       *       *

 

A young robin asking questions

do mouses grow up to be rats

Parents mumble under their wings

He asks again


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Daniel Hales has had poems, flash fictions, and creative nonfiction published in many print and online journals, including Verse Daily, The Massachusetts Review, Conduit, Quarter After Eight, Upstreet, Bateau, H_NGM_N, and previously in qarrtsiluni. He’s the songwriter, singer, and guitarist for Daniel hales, and the frost heaves.

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