In the small hours
I can hear those rare birds
knuckled to the mother tongue of music.
Each beaten concerto-wing trilling,
a flurried kin tethered by aftertaste.
Their mimicry unloops the knot of me
until I am no longer a begging-bowl,
no longer exhaustion as a second skin.
When I try to put a name
to this innermost heart-stitch
I wake to exile,
to its wingspan of silence
drum-tight inside my ears.