After fall, vision falters, but still the red-tail’s
white underwings trace the sky like a stylus.
Sharp-eyed, he scribes letters in quick language
untranslatable into our race’s worn tongue.
I lounge on my back in the dust and tired broom sage,
trying to decode this circumsolar calligraphy.
Rummaging my dialect, I hunt the proper spell
to bend his spirals down to my shoulder, unable
to find a voice to circumscribe such wide autonomy.
Hawk ends letter with relaxed gesture, sealing
the blue like an imperial signet pressing melted wax.
Dropping through provinces of cool air, he delivers
his message to a corn snake hunting rats of this realm.
2010 Southwestern American Literature Vol. 35.2