one, i will fly.
of course, it’s the natural answer
but there is more to bird than flight
even if flight is much of it.
two, i will look
out of black eyes that see
the world in a different way.
i will see the world and breathe the air
through swan’s senses, walk
with swan’s feet through city streets,
on soft grass, feeling what it is like
to curl my toes.
three, i will stand
with one leg tucked
folded next to my wing
because i can.
four, i will speak
and grunt, and quack
and purr, and click, making sounds
that the human mouth is afraid of.
i will learn new languages
of poetry and anger,
of passion and fear.
five, i will sleep.
head between my wings,
my legs by my sides,
my belly on the ground.
i will be a white ball of softness,
all folded in, no sticking out limbs,
no worrying where to put my arms.
is that what you want to do with your life?”
but to sleep in the body i was meant for
is a pleasure i never have known.