Our passing car kicks up
a host of starlings; from the passenger seat,
I crane my neck backwards to see
as they swell and rise together.
The murmuration distends
and wanes over the blurry grass,
in a moment bursting upwards
into something that prompts me
to see it as the holy mother, theotokos,
then contracts into a black mass,
at once forgetting what it was,
but always becoming itself again.
Nothing changes like when you’re eighteen
and moving away. “Let’s stop up here,” he says.
On the turnpike, in the cicada’s afternoon,
my dad and I are switching seats.
Cover photo by Max Ostrozhinskiy.