Genus Aerodramus by Peleg Held

Genus Aerodramus

“…one of the few species of bird who use echolocation to move about in their dark environs,
a somewhat insignificant species but its nests, made of its own saliva and are a prized delicacy…”

“Water is Life!”
Banner of the Standing Rock Sioux

“We will fight until the end!”
Graffiti on a shelled wall in Kobane

These nests we weave
wellsprings risen from the red,
the silvered sounds set firm.
The swiftlet makes its home
from spit, sweet laminae of terms
sworn into the falling dark.

A watcher’s brow, one grotto arcs
us moon to sun, a hunger marks us
one by one, each bodied word walking
barefoot bright upon the vow-swept floor.

These nests we weave, fierce stranding spun
of will which comes at quiet moment when
the first few are awake and all the promises
of home are passed in bowls
rim ringing every sacred name.

Song and air against
the nest-eaters.

by Peleg Held

Editor’s Note: Slant rhyme and careful enjambment highlight the narrator’s voice of protest in this poem. The last two lines are strong enough to act as a refrain, even unrepeated.