The very veery this heart thumps for,
she seems a mere heartbeat away,
a buoy bobbing in a bay
on whose shores I sit tongue-tied
to the sound of a fishing boat
tonguing the soft-sand shore-lap.
It’s March. And if I reel it in,
it is real. So to step in,
to swivel dingy oarlocks and plod
out nearer the buoy seems
the very act of throating a bird
as one might stroke a chicken neck
to pacify. Isadora
Duncan knows, or knew, all
too well this feather fingering
of Fate, both divas. Stay with me.
I am moving quite fast, sculling
by the buoy before I know it
is the very emblem of the veery
I would like each small chatty bird
in this narrative to be.
Stay with me, croons the buoy
Bette Midlerian as I scull by
thwartwise. Thickets rise
out of the shore muck starboard,
my skull now heavy with chirping.
Stay with me, and I’d like to
slip out and slide to the spout
end of that buoy throatwise
and risen to song. This is weird,
I tell myself, by which I mean
the Anglo-Saxon kind, which kills
the very veery my heart adores.
Heart, if you have the heart,
help me swing the dinghy round.
Or dive down, bottom-dweller, and throat
this minnowed moat crosswise.
Nevermind the albatross.
Divide the drink for the wan and dewless.
“Diva” first appeared in Hotel Amerika, 3.2, (2005).