Before the sun crests the Cascades and spills
into the valley where the river surges north,
I’m out walking, arms rhythmically swinging
like the gates on a furnace sucking air.
A crow on a fence cocks his head and caws,
his obsidian chip eye glitters and
I see breath trail from his beak,
pluming against his ruffled darkness.
For an instant we exchange places,
excited by the impossible, confused by what’s real.
The only sound is breathing as I fly and
he swings on up the hill, uncluttered by omens,
eager to trade more heat for another gem,
another sparkle in the eye.