Cole Swensen

Who Thought


Who thought all flight took part and thus there’s something
of the ghost in every bird
or air starts up a the fault
and walks on, turning blue.
The walking song.
They said it was a fire in the trees.
and the white flame came out in wings and left behind the lightest bones
that ghosts wear to hide themselves. Sparrow, manor, marrow. Wren, ruin. A tiny swallow
carved from an eyebrow.





Qui pense tout vol fait parti et puis il y a quelque chose
du fantôme dans chaque oiseau
où l’air voltige, ouvert en os
errant, tirant vers le bleu.
Le chant arpentant
Ils l’ont nommé feu-dans-le-forêt
et la flamme blanche éclatait en ailes laissant une ombre comme trace
qui etait desormais porté par des revenants pour aller
mieux avec le monde. moineau, loriot, à vau-l’eau, un corbeau comme porte-fenêtre
une alouette d’être prise.





Who thinks all flight takes part sees the bit
of ghost in every bird
where air breaks out in bones
tearing toward a blue.
It walks alone
known as fire-in-the-grove
goes white inside its wings leaving darkness trailing back
to form a shroud for any ghost who wants to better match the world. lark, stark, who all
ran out. crow and crow for the window flying open, for the oriole who was taken
from your eye.