Jeff Pearson
five hawks gossip

Five hawks open up above the bride
running fingers through the back strands

of her.
Off-pitch fermata over

a violin bow swing
changes some bird’s-eye stick drawing

to musical notes that screech gossip.


Holes where wallows don’t dare
fill with dirt clods,

a man thinks about
hammering out a crooked nail while

apartments are built in his sleep
and five hawks gossip

to a sound, a quiet ring close to his
ear where metal upon metal

imbeds itself until all nails bend.

Squawks are ignored or dissolve
into other permutations.


As a man throws rocks at the breeze in the tree,

wings swirl above the hutch of branches.
To climb would be all right now.

He would be the fury
of conifer and reach

past flimsy needles, mount atop
the branch holding the old brisk

mouse in an upcoming glide. The hawks


Five hawks gossip while a man lies in Slug Creek
in a slippery hip-broken

cooled spring ripple, blood
contusions inside, out.

As raptors hover
over him in a perfect

belly float riding on buoyancy while rocks
cushion the broken human, an underwater

field of stones a long time angular.
Now, cooled and cold.


It is mystical how light-weight
raptors become having been gutted

and filled and stuffed
with thick gauze to hold shape, stapled

to a crafty log, and as the pick-up speeds up
through Fish Creek Pass

then is stopped by two jake-braked
semis slugging against each other.

The squawks, elegantly dead, fly
gossip out of the pick-up.


Someone must pick up
my fallen families, five hawks gossip.

The five hawks speed, then freeze, then loathe
each other. They hover

until their bills open up for ropes of entrails
carried to a rare, bare, molting eya.


Hawk stencils were wood-burned
into plaques above the communal telephone,

the State Hospital South phony payphone.
Mistaken for owls.

Incoherent five hawks above,
holy and ghoulish with shifty heads at night.