On a hill over the sea
two hundred steps above the earth,
I build my nest in the crook
of an old jack pine.
Willow, oak, linden, cypress:
a base to give in the wind, shore
against the tempest of those below.
Magpie enough for silvered toffee wrappers
nestled like distant stars in the crux
of feathers and bone.
Pages torn from a bard's folio
diminished by the rub of time and water.
Raven's tail feather, plucked
to paint shade over the shock of the world.
Layers of paper, spines of fallen wood, salt
flowers on powdered feathers making vellum
of air's instrument.
My nest has grown too heavy.
Time has weakened Jack's heart.
The wind clasps him close; he leans
too far in her arms.
My eyes grow tired of this shore. The air—
too much broom, apple, and dust.
I will abandon this strata bed,
craft another on an unfamiliar shore
where an architect may sleep
in a strange tale's branches.