Pulled out of Galveston this morning headed
your way, stopped by the coves overlooking
the West Bay at dawn before I left. Found

a dead tern in the sand, legs tucked, wings
tucked, like it was sleeping but terns are known
for their sleeplessness. They can fly for

years at a time without landing. They nap in
two second intervals midflight never giving
the impression of a body at rest, that sense of

unguarded healing, one kind of soul vista.
It stayed with me all day, from Corsicana
to Wichita Falls sloshing through my neurons like

tiny bathtub tsunamis. The only time
that tern ever looked at peace was lying
face-down in its final failure. I have an answer

to the question you asked me last time I was home
when we were both so warm and sedated. I want you
to remember me for my wings. Sleeping in

Amarillo tonight, I'll be there
in either two long sleepless nights or three gentle days.

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