I stepped on a bird this morning. It had fallen between
      two parked cars. My boot-heel made it make a quiet,

sobbing noise, not at all like birdsong. It was
      brittle and soft at once, like matchsticks inside

chewing gum. As a child in Rome, I dreamed someday
      I would be Emerson’s “transparent eyeball.” I tried

different ways to disappear: I wore a football helmet
      everywhere. What I found out was: you can’t

be a transparent eyeball in a football helmet.
      I feel better in the dark. I compare the dark

to chocolate: some rich, naughty substance covering
      my body. That would be invisible—to be dipped in chocolate.

That’s no football helmet. What if pain turned
      the bird inside out, what if its own scale were volcanic?

You’ve got to get yourself dirty to imagine it.
      You’ve got to get down on all fours and bark.


I became a tiny eye to see into the eye of a sparrow,
      a cricket’s eye, a baby’s eye; when I looked

at the night sky I made my eye as big as history, for
      the night sky is a kaleidescope of past-times,

as noted astronomer Carl Sagan said. I watched TV and
      made my eye a TV: lidless, rash gazer at whatever happens,

casting shadows of what happens for the neighbors,
      whose eyes are the size of windows, my windows, and sharpen

their sight to voluptuous desire, voyeur voyeur
      pants on fire. Anything half-seen becomes what’s on,

becomes the neighbors’ newscast, lotto drawing, rerun.
      How do you know a child had died, except by watching

trays of casseroles brought in, the old sit down,
      peoples’ bodies doing as bodies will against the wall?