Friday, October 25, 2019
Making Headlines :: Articles New York Papers
Making Headlines At Dawn, the Bird (All NY Times headlines taken from the week of the shuttle crash--the first week of February) I. Possible Damage to the Wing We were watching TV when the bird hit the window and fell to the patio with its wing arched unnaturally beneath it. "Is it possible that it's still alive?" I ask. My father shakes his head. "Well..." he sighs. His face looks pained in the moment that the bird's body thumps against the window and drops to the ground--then it softens to grief. A small pool of blood emerges from beneath its body. I cock my head at the mystery of this bird that mistook our window for air. Your body grows cold already, Texas patio dove. Penguins spend up to seventy-five percent of their lives underwater--even those on display at the aquarium. We watch them dive headfirst into the water like fat arrows, their arms sleek and thick at their sides. Fish, freshly killed and slick like steel, slip down their throats without a word. In Chilean folklore, the penguin is not the only bird unable to fly. The Alicanto is a nocturnal sparrow that feeds on the veins of gold and silver. The weight of the metal is what keeps it from flying. II. Tracking Shuttle, Many Saw Long Trail of Flames Instead The Egyptians' bird of eternal life was what the Greeks would call Phoenix. Did it roost in treetops and cactus arms? Or did it fly, leaving trails of flames across the horizon? Did it scatter its ashes over the earth like the strewn answers to immortality; the clues to rebirth irreparably dispersed like the infinite pieces of a puzzle? I used to fall asleep to locusts. Their plump insect bodies sang a long and unanswered serenade. They lived on the trees outside my window. They left crisp skeleton skins behind them, whose leggings still clung to the bark. I have never seen them land, though I wonder if they do it all at once, or in pieces. If they gather to one tree over time, or if they descend in swarms, settling over the branches like a shroud--a skin of screaming scales. In Carlsbad Caverns, stalactites plunge earthward, stalagmites stretch heavenward. Like tapered tree trunks. Like lava. My voice trickles over the cool of the walls. Here and there, ends meet--a stalactite thinks it has reached the earth, and a stalagmite believes it's in heaven.