In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

Afi.ul.leap Eüphonia Mark Doty Green-throated Carib, Cardinal Honeyeater: plumed scraps of postage, they perch between perforations on this sheet of stamps, a quartet repeating in regular rotation. Just four make a flock, a tropic placed in my hand by a tired postal clerk, a kind black woman who's been fractioning out the means of speech all this hot October morning. Does she actually see what a gift they seem, in this city where nothing seems to be singing? I need a Crested Honeycreeper worrying the pink foam of a flower, eyes all hungry intent. And this one, my favorite, the yellow and indigo 43 Ecotone: reimagining place bloom of him poised above the eight syllables of a name longer, in the artist's rendition, than his body is: Antillean Euphonia. Name a song further away than that! I'm sitting in the parking lot listening to the back-up beep of a mail truck, sheet of sunstruck birds in my lap, specimens on a field of glossy paper, perforations framing rectangular islands for little rare things, brilliant on their demonstration branches: Look what sings, the post office says, in the world! Pause. Reconsider: Sang? Music I hadn't known existed, and maybe it's already gone. Is that why his dark back is turned toward me—already intent on the silence he'd hoped to fill with himself? Does he perch only on the tiny white duchy of his stamp, nation with no anthem? Share his little branch, look out with him into that blank space, the quiet ahead of us—is it?— tuneless and long. But not really: 44 Mark Doty quick blast of police car radio, somebody's phone ringing, airbrake and siren and shouting. It's the page that's silent, the bright bird's tiny page. 45 ...


Additional Information

Print ISSN
pp. 43-45
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.