Day, with Hawk

for K.M. Grant

Here among witch-hazels I miss
the peregrine we met just once.
Like the fire from bare twigs that twists
a floral kiss on winter’s neck,
He stunned me so I’m hanging on
to language by its clichés, pushed
to singer-songwrite fingernails
down a tumbling slate precipice.
I would call Him chestnut-stippled,
light on the arm, I want to say,
the non-urgent flexing of chest
muscles making a snow-champion’s
balance; and bad old hierarchy
doffs its executioner’s garb
to rise with the word, princely. Love,
this is; no poem. What is the term
for the gathering of one falcon?
An embarrassment of poets.
An adoration. An abyss.

From Venus as a Bear. Reproduced with kind permission of Carcanet.

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