Another earth

by Triin Paja

there were no birds, even if the trees
creaked like the birds, even if the dawn
implied the perpetuity of a sensual
sky, as I saw a bird-shadow on a wall
and awoke to an earth that seemed
iridescent, unbeautiful as a seabird
which tarred oil turns from
gull to crow. I buried a small bird
and climbed a tree calcified with lichen.
the wind began to turn my hair grey.
I was not a child. I learned
we are also like the river
for we cannot return.
I loved a bird but it was like seeing
a lover swim in the sea, but you are
at the bottom, you see his belly,
the sun above. then there were
no birds, even as rail tracks
glowed in the dark
with the sheen of ravens
and grass grew as tall as geese.

Triin Paja lives in rural Estonia. Her poetry has appeared in Prairie Schooner, Portland Review, Adroit Journal, Room, and Poetry Daily, among others. She is the author of a poetry collection in Estonian, Nõges (Värske Raamat, 2018), recipient of the BettiAlver Literary Award.