Maya C Popa
Took off from the field again away from you and back in my direction. We share an owl now – we did not mean for this to happen. It hovers between us, a symbol and debt, sleeps in a country neither recognizes until we’re face to face – then, it’s familiar, and it’s impossible not to laugh. Of course, there’s an owl. You’re the owl in the belfry set off by noon bells. I’m the owl circling the wounded land. Among the difficulties of caring for something metaphorical is the guarantee it will one day become something else, and it’s hard to say for certain when the transformation’s final. How you woke one morning at a job you hated, in a mind you’d wrestled into gentleness, and nothing made sense except the way I listened. You burned for me; the owl was a candle by whose flame I could see my own value clearly: the second chance, the double life tiptoed watchfully around. The feeling only a wild bird knows whose head turns 270 degrees, is silent in flight and blends with its settings, whose talons can withstand any sort of landing. That, a neckless wonder, strips ligament from flesh. Something so polite about enduring its violence and hoping only to remain in favor, watch the bones assemble in the shape of a vole. There are ways to fail an owl, for metaphor to fail. I remember you – the dusk we wrought by listening. The long hunt we made of night.