However birds bargain
with heaven, haggle to get a lift
out of thin air, tell those terms
to my blood. I would forget you
except that the decision sharpens
your image against my skull’s back wall.

Forget? These days my skull is a retina,
camera obscura to focus your likeness
inside me like inverted sky, reeling
with upside-down birds. My blood moves
like flocks of starlings, sweeps
alternating currents, waves to burn
erase, then burn again.

Forget. Except whatever light streams
through the pinhole (any pore will do)
projects your face. Your brow knit, thinking.
What you said, the words you found
to say what being was.

I say forget. As if saying could strain out
this motion washing my veins.
Oblivion, lift me! What collateral
can I pay into the wind?

Birds and blood: no bargain.

Your face has a gravity,
holding me.

Not your face exactly, but the light it sheds.
No, not the light exactly,
but what I see by it.