Between Plaited Tresses
If he were man, if she were as beautiful as he,
if she were man she’d ask: what is it you hide
under those gold and auburn plaited tresses
covering your chest, feathers full of carotenoids.
But she is bird, but he is bird and she is colour
blind to this beauty, but her ears are inside-out
fountains that let sound drip in, roll,
can you feel it roll now, that final
drawn-out rising and falling and calling
zizizizizziziie-diuh. What he hides, what she hears
is heartbeat, is breast bone letting syrinx fall,
is to man the place where collar bones meet,
the scooped out spot where a woman’s pulse imitates the soft
vibration of a bird’s wing ready for flight’s take off.
Published in Otherwheres: UEA Creative Writing Anthology, 2005, Pen and Inc Press, Norwich UK and forthcoming in As if A Raven 2014 Palimpsest Press