Airport. Full moon. Pre-dawn.
Travelers arrive as a flock then disperse singular, paired, in families of three, four. They sit in rows, static as seagulls in a parking lot. Fingers picking at cellphones that chirp like tree frogs. Boarding calls from the ceiling tin the air. The flock reconfigures in a sleight of hand, gather like starlings. They pool, curve, cleave, become a feathered river merging, emulating estuary, tide, blackcaps. At twenty thousand feet they reshape into a silver heron rowing across the sky, some kind of cumulative shadow shrouded, cloaked in clouds. If they are not of the air, what’s left to claim as their defining element? Answer me, Icarus. Inform me, you frigate birds. Show me, you migrating Sand Hill cranes.