In a vacuum a bird and a feather fall
at the same speed, though this hardly seems
relevant as no one lives in a vacuum. Here
birds drop from the sky all the time (unsinging,
their bodies look groomed for the dive) but
I’ve never seen a lone feather float down.
I suppose what a thing wears is its to destroy—
feathers, fur, or skin—all gift-wrapping.
I am no less noble when naked, especially
when viewed behind smoked glass,
through which I appear pale
and immortal, foggy with bravura,
like the prince buried beside the sword
that struck him dead.
It could still happen; I could be smacked
by an Olympian thunderbolt
and bear a living child, thirsty for life
as a fish finning out a net. Stranger things
occur all the time. A statue
of a horse comes to life and charges
through a church—the priest flees screaming
while the choir stays put. Cowards will always
prefer chaos, thinking it easy
to hide in confusion, but nothing is horror-
proof. A trapdoor falls away, a harbor town
smears off a map, and even our hands
disassemble into twenty-seven
separately breakable bones.