Attractions by John Allman



Today, she said, the crows look like Hasidim, and I saw them in the maple, wearing black hats, their long curls like scrolls of text coming loose from their heads. One of them flew to a topmost branch and swayed on the tips of his feet. Another tilted his head and made a chuckling noise in the voice of a robin. She looked out and said, There's no sense in misery, when juncos share this bounty with cardinals—the feeder atop its long pole wobbling above the husks of seeds, a mild spongy earth. I saw laborers pushing wheelbarrows, dark bandanas around their necks, sweat trickling down their forearms. A Bishop blessed them from his balcony and red buds fell upon his garments. I saw a hawk grooming himself under his wing in the leafless catalpa tree, the sun gleaming on his beak, his nostril-hole a permanent wound. Then everyone flew off at once. That's the way it is, she said later, her nightgown open, breasts full in the moonlight. I saw a man with chapped lips at her nipples and I burned, oh, I burned.