The shadow of the vulture passes quickly—
much more quickly than the body passes
when I look at it directly, and so I will

avoid the usual understandings in which
we might discuss a vulture or its shadow
(as emblems of death…there, I’ve said it)

to mention how illusory the shadow is:
merely a dimming of grass, pavement.
However many times you reach your

aging hand out to it, you never touch
anything like a buzzard’s feathers.
But if you look at the right moment,

you see a bird, beyond the bird, the sun,
and if you return to yourself as if in a mirror,
then and only then has our conversation begun.


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