Hummingbird Aviary

Scarlet and teal
raven and maize
and wing-strobe.

Breathless stutter, vertigo,
feint, heart-frenzy,
small skitterings,
stalled vectors.

Bodies like thumbs,
syringe nose, flick-birr
of wings, blur
of invisible air.

A tongue and a taste
the one and the other
a claustrophobe’s panic
no quivering, now calm.

Michael Collier is the poet laureate of the state of Maryland and teaches at the University of Maryland, College Park, and is the director of the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference. This poem is from his fourth collection, The Ledge (Mariner Books).
*Photo courtesy of Maureen Leong-Kee.
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