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after John Ashbery

 

The birds opened their coffee klatch in earnest,

chatting the sky from black to blue in maybe

a hundred singing telegrams. I sipped coffee

 

and eavesdropped on the overlapping timbres

and turns of phrase in their feathered acrobatics.

Pick-up trucks grumbled past, into Wednesday,

 

more mind-reader than machine for engines

which sounded more like driver’s complaints

than random idling. Amid the light twittering,

 

a raven sounded a bass note twice. The other

birds stopped. Paused to listen? A long silence.

A second raven answered, more like laughing.

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