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  • Writer's pictureNeuro Logical

Zopilote above the Hotel - Tim MacGabhann

For Chris Kitson

Long airborne when I spotted her,

a little cinder-nib drawing zeroes neater than the grooves in vinyl.

Listen, wait, obey, I’ve read it said.

Don’t lose

that crucial element of drift.

Way up in nowhere, the zopilote

traces out doubled nothings joined at the ends.

Now there’s a clank: that’s the espresso-machine.

The pool-filter drones on, slurps, gargles,

and strimmer whines, munching grass into chaff.

The zopilote’s ears are cowled

under a mesh of barbless feathers —

thin, fine, like a microphone’s fuzzy hood —

so, for the zopilote, the hotel noise is swampous wash and backwash:

silt-thick static tides, radio squelch, milky swirls

like the stormfronts on the TV news.

A buffet hits and the zopilote yaws,

curves, her flight a sudden wild freeland:

zip and loop, long-stemmed swoops

slowing back

into the rush of a climb

that she hears as the skewed whoop

and yaw of a tuning dial moving through a station

and on into the big revolving quiet

that hovers up there

where one thermal

blurs into the other.


Tim MacGabhann is an Irish writer and former reporter living in Mexico. His novels, Call Him Mine and How to Be Nowhere, are published by Weidenfeld and Nicolson. Other work appears in The Stinging Fly, the Dublin Review, and Poetry Ireland Review

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