Theology of Flight

By CHRISTOPHER BAKKEN

Morning wind speaks a dialect of smoke,
brings news from yesterday and tomorrow:
what’s burning there will soon enough burn here.

One bullet. Even a rumor of bullet
restless in the chamber of a neighbor’s gun.
To run, before he arrives with his god.

Gather only what can be carried.
No litany for the uncompassed,
beyond the song of our shed weight.

How easy, then, to mistake us for a crowd
of ibis, some endangered birds, casting
thin, anonymous shadows

across the now deserted flyways.
Rather than soar, driven by seasons,
we drift the shifting borders, anywhere,

which lead down always to a scrap
of coast, and the chained islands
of So Close, Almost There, and Too Far.

 

Christopher Bakken is the author of three books of poetry—most recently Eternity & Oranges—as well as the culinary memoir Honey, Olives, Octopus: Adventures at the Greek Table. He is director of Writing Workshops in Greece: Thessaloniki & Thasos, and he teaches at Allegheny College.

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Theology of Flight

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