Lo, the dove returned, bearing in her mouth
an olive leaf plucked off, so Noah knew…

            Genesis 8:11

 A shallow shawl of birds,
refusing to be named, floats
in the eucalyptus-light air.

See them here—these young refugees
from Minnesota, Iowa, Utah,
trying for a brand-new start,
working at the Sphinx Copy store;

sitting in small espresso shops
staring at the onyx surfaces
of their lives, and hungering
or the taste of revelations

as the sun’s slanting rays
create bright crystal crosses
in their glass cups, and church bells
call across Washington Square.

Book browsers surface
rom City Lights, shop keepers
roll down their awnings as the sun
sinks over the hills.  No answers

at the edge of this last place.
No news to be found in a bird’s mouth.