A butcher-bird flies far, far away from me,
I no longer see its beak, or claws, or wings.
A leopard roams far, far away from me,
I no longer see its ears, or paws, or spots.
A woman walks far, far away from me,
I no longer see her face, or hands, or dress.
All three become just dots
on the unrolled azure canvas,
it is impossible to tell which one
is the butcher-bird, or leopard, or woman…
In a sense, each one becomes all three,
a freckle on the face of unreality,
each form reduced to a speck,
details obliterated by distance.
Now, if all three came back,
it would be hard to tell who's who,
and even if only one returned,
the others would come, too.
I know the woman is dead
and the leopard was shot last year –
I put out seeds for the butcher-bird
waiting for all of them here.
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