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Ankles Like Ancient Birds

I am musing for amusements,

looking for something good.

Ancestral spirits back me up.

I am searching, and they are heaven-sent.

What is beautiful? It lasts an instant.

I hand out lists of lovers and reflections.

Someone writes me a letter in seismographic beeps.

This urn, that eclipse, a nightingale, all of it true—

I despise losing but do it masterfully.

(The dead pull on my ankles like ancient birds,

my soul, they think, in reach.)

And if sea sirens and shadow-making revelations

are stage tricks? If these are standard griefs?

from Forest with CastanetsFind more by Diane Mehta at the library

Copyright © 2018 Diane Mehta
Used with the permission of The Permissions Company, LLC on behalf of Four Way Books.

Published in Diane Mehta Poems

This program is supported in part by a grant from the Idaho Humanities Council, a State-based program of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this (publication, website, exhibit, etc.) do not necessarily represent those of the Idaho Humanities Council or the National Endowment for the Humanities.