The night after aloo gobi and chicken korma
at the Red Rose, I was informed my stomach
made surprising noises—songs it had never sung before.
“Incomprehensible to some,”
I trilled, “last night I was dreaming in Hindi!”
And the thrillows sang on behind the blinds.
“Are those sparrows, Bird Poet? ” I was asked
after minutes of listening.
“Despairos? ” I said, in unmodulated credulity,
or modulated incredulity. “Why despairo?
Those are the young enthusiastic children
of jaded conservative parents.”
They were not the nagging jay who joined us last week,
so handsome and angry and mean
(his very name the root of jail; his voice
a fork on a plate, the screech of a taxi brake).
My second sighting, he buzzed an old sleep-drunk squirrel
clambering down the trunk of the maple out front.
Welcome back forsythia—welcome thrillows and
despairos, pigeons, wood doves, squeaky bikes,
bikes whose seats need raising. Welcome crowded bike posts:
now we’ll lock a block away.
Welcome needy grass, magnolia litter.
Welcome squirrels. Welcome jay.