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  • Writer's picturek m

oiseaux tristes

Artwork by Isabelle Lu, staff artist

after Maurice Ravel

when i felt the keys under my fingers,

cupped frayed wings in my palms.

a single note, a brushstroke, a bird call,

stretching as if it would evaporate,

timid, lilting suggestions. aquila;

you landed on the window sill of the living room.

cadenzas echo like cascading fireflies.

this is the serendipity that makes a home;

impressionism into images, floating on horizons.

a flutter of chartreuse wings, eyelashes flicker.

birds lost in lethargy, syrupy hours of summer,

dots of indigo against smoldering oranges.

heartbeat fluttering frantically like hummingbirds caught in nets,

frilled parasols and birds swept away by the wind,

dissonance a faded eggshell blue,

lost, drifting.

listen! nothing





i fall off the edge, leave this creaking piano bench,

birds outside the glass turning breath into whispers

with ravel’s haunting imitations.

ruminating avian; you take off into the night sky.

the hum of your wings, your frail body against the vast darkness

threatening to swallow you whole.

like ravel’s small notes, your impressionist wings rise and fall,

not unlike lilting suggestions.

eggshell-blue minutes fade into indigo hours,

suggestions preserved, turned sublime.

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