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.
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
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