It’s there, she said. I can see it
in the lower branch of that beech tree, how it lands—tanager
sprite, passerine. I like it there, it seems content to perch. Rarely
does it descend from the treetops. It is usually the song
that drops to the canopy below. It has come from across the lake
for raspberries. I would come too like the tanager just to feel
the little fruit slide down my throat—the tenderness of gluttony
the satisfaction of thievery. I would come for that. You should not
play with nature’s offering, abundance quickly turns to necessity
if the mind allows it. We should want less, know more
don’t you think? We cannot ever know that which will leave us.
The tanager sits in the tree but its presence will remain
only for the life of a raspberry. And raspberries are eaten. (He turns
to look at her.) Then consume me
so I too might never be forgotten. I’ve lived
too much of my life inside, spend too much time now
looking for tanagers. Show me another way. This has nothing to do
with love, what we consume will never be. And I like you better
looking for birds. When the forest turns to rot, when
abundance is consumed, the tanager will leave. But that’s
what tanagers do. When I return I want to see how your eyes widen
want to feel your arms tense, want to remember the scent
of your mouth. And then we will both know.