for the birds the birds the birds

Yumiko Awae

our wings are made
of polyester, topped
with real bird-feather
icings. we don't hurt them;
some of them spare their fluff
when they die
(says 'donor' right on their
flier's license). our wings have
plasticine hinges, not weak
like those of Icarus. they come
with insurance--they come
with parachutes instead of
airbags. our wings are shrinkable,
in case we want to pose as
people. we can put them away
under our backbones for walking.
we can wear lights on them
at night and cover them with
sleeves under harsh sunlight. it's
100% washable in warm water
and the whiteness never fades.
they can fight blood stains and
repel dust. they're waterproof
and tearproof; they work better than
handles and are lighter than hands.
under a tubal sky we fly
in a loop until we become
one solid orbit, commanding
foreshadowing clouds to
break apart, stopping the rain.


The 2River View, 3_1 (Fall 1998)