What can I learn from the hummingbird,
a big thing like me? I hardly have time
to study its flash, its momentous
iridescence, before it disappears
into the mimosa, sated with nectar.
I admire the way the greenery trembles.
I remember reading that this bird is
never sated--its whole miniature
life an exercise in digestion. What
excuse does it need to be this useless,
what's to learn from this inscrutable engine?
Why does something in me fly out
to the feathery tree, whirring
so hungrily towards translucence?
"After the Storm, August" originally appeared in Ploughshares 14/4