I know he sweats in his bed about me.
Nights before races are longest,
as he dreams of the money my feathers
can make him, sees my eager beak pointing
towards home. Nights like this are hard for me too,
caging us together, my love and I,
leaving me to nudge her plumy neck,
peck that secret part beneath her wing.
He relies on widowhood to get me back,
simple but it works. Passion, sex, comfort
being parted from all that, makes me fly faster,
guarantees I’m a winner. When that businessman
in Taiwan, bet $50,000, did he know he wagered
on mourning and love? At six days old, they punched
a ring on my leg, the number defining my lot,
who I belonged to and he does care for me –
pets me with chubby, tender hands
but she’s the one who increases my rapidity,
her softness accelerates swiftness,
lift up your wing, high so I can see, I’m coming home.
from The Anatomy of Structures (Flambard Press, 2010), Rebecca Goss 2010. used by permission of the author