A golden-crowned sparrow meets my gaze, through the window, acknowledging the five dollar block of suet, I placed in the squirrel- proof cage. She performs a dance in front of me, as if I’m a queen behind glass. My rhythms influence her day. I am not aware of it, most of the time. The ocean is not far away (I almost never see it). I hear her voice the loudest, her elegy, her lament, three descending notes. I sit on a splintering bench in the yard, taking a break from toxic, recycled air. In between her condolences and silence, I scare her away with my bird sound imitations. Inside of a home that ticks like a clock, I sleep with poetry books and rest in my bird- centered imagination. In my solitude, I dream of an America that is not always at war.
Catherine Karnitis is a poet and recent graduate of the MFA in Writing program at the University of San Francisco. Her poetry is published in The Ekphrastic Review, POETiCA REViEW, Howl literary journal, the Telepoem Booth© project, and elsewhere. She has an MA in History from the University of California, Berkeley and an MA in Art History from The Ohio State University. She is a former poetry editor.