I barely understand the language of this magpie
eating crackers on my picnic table,
but I listen and study.
My mouth working with my tongue,
with the puffing and unpuffing of my cheeks,
comes nowhere near the true noise of birds.
My air rush, what stillness it talks about,
through fluctuating nostrils, is about as close as I can come.
The noise I am familiar with only speaks to me.
I hear it involuntarily, even though it comes from me.
I close off the talking mind that never wishes to be quiet.
The ounce of air moving through me has its own language,
given to me at birth, the way magpies receive their language.
First comes to me an affirmation of life.
It sounds like Jah or yeah,
but my mind is deceived into thinking it can
spell out what is bringing me life.
Then, a way comes, as the ounce of breath gently leaves me.
It has found a way out.
This sets me up for another round of breathing.
This is an old two-syllable word handed down to me
from the beginning.
Magpie language helps me learn my own.