NOVEMBER 23

A dead bird lay on my doorstep. 

It took a moment to understand. 

At first I thought it was a tissue, 

then I thought it was a leaf, 

then I saw it was a little bird lying on its back, 

cinnamon brown, some sort of Thrush,

Hermit or Wood (Hermit would make sense).

Plump white belly covered in spots,

soft and whole. Neck straight, feathers unmarred,

symmetrical, eyes half-way closed. 

Two feet and eight toes, all accounted for.

I slid it into an empty flower pot and brought it around back. 

I dug a hole in the backyard and buried it

with three rocks (basalt, red jasper, white marble)

and covered it with dried marigolds I’d saved all summer in a cup. 

I tamped down the soil and spread fallen oak leaves on top.

A friend tells me this dead bird is good luck.

The internet gives mixed messages. 

In any case, I accept.

I went inside and took a nap and dreamt of falling asleep 

on a lover’s chest at the end of an afternoon 

when the room is cool in shades of blue 

and a breeze comes through the window.