Floating Ladders2
By Tamara Madison

In Long Beach the parrots chatter,
winging from palm to palm
in the dry sky. Sun lashes the fronds.

The green birds have bred out
their reds and yellows; they fly,
noisy, in flocks of jade. These

are not the birds that live on porches
in cages and practice human speech;
they have no memory of the Amazon.

These birds speak the wordless
cacophony of traffic, navigate
the sunny jungle of broad streets, palms,
eucalyptus, conversing together in bleats.

We speak our thoughts in language
that bears a long, long memory; theirs
is the lucky language of Now.

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