Cortés Burning the Aviaries – Monica Rico

Last night, I let in all the birds.
I told my grandmother to stay awhile.
I said, stop disguising yourself as wind.
You are not the only one who can fly.

I told my grandmother to stay awhile.
There is something in the wind. I recognize your voice.
You are not the only one who can fly.
Have you seen Montezuma’s aviaries—still green, full of breath?

There is something in the wind. I recognize your voice.
You talk to me all at once with your mouth full.
Have you seen Montezuma’s aviaries—still green, full of breath?
Cuídate, I thought you were blessing me.

You talk to me all at once with your mouth full.
I don’t believe in god but I do believe in Mexicans.
Cuídate, I thought you were blessing me.
I am sorry I picked all your red tulips.

I don’t believe in god but I do believe in Mexicans.
I said, stop disguising yourself as wind.
I am sorry I picked all your red tulips.
Last night, I let in all the birds.

MORNINGSIDE HEIGHTS, JULY – William Matthews

MORNINGSIDE HEIGHTS, JULY

Haze. Three student violists boarding
a bus. A clatter of jackhammers.
Granular light. A film of sweat for primer
and the heat for a coat of paint.
A man and a woman on a bench:
she tells him he must be psychic,
for how else could he sense, even before she knew,
that she’d need to call it off? A bicyclist
fumes by with a coach’s whistle clamped
hard between his teeth, shrilling like a teakettle
on the boil. I never meant, she says.
But I thought, he replies. Two cabs almost
collide; someone yells fuck in Farsi.
I’m sorry, she says. The comforts
of loneliness fall in like a bad platoon.
The sky blurs—there’s a storm coming
up or down. A lank cat slinks liquidly
around a corner. How familiar
it feels to feel strange, hollower
than a bassoon. A rill of chill air
in the leaves. A car alarm. Hail.

WILLIAM MATTHEWS