Swifts

by Deirdre Kessler

How easily we enter into caves and cadences of the sublime,
rush of passion, swooping, swirling, circling a chimney roost,
diving towards it as does the swift,
at the very last instant to reverse the body
plummet into hollow darkness,
down and down.

One incisive gesture: claws catch brick edge,
thought and momentum turn upwards to zodiacal light,
feathers cushion the halt.
Safe for the night.

And the day comes to settle — all that winging
and whirling over marshlands, grasses tall, insect-rich,
sudden mud slopes of tidal rivers
and still backwaters, where the lust of crickets
shivers the moon into fullness.