The Flight Cage

After so many years of abbreviated sky, the new bird
is cast from the bars of its former cage.

What’s left of the aviary is the no longer boy,
a soldier unable to exit a door he never entered.

He drops off the kids, puffs out his little adopted cloud
into Nevada. Some of it stays inside him,

the hugely never of Nevada. The lattice
between the species begins to curve.

It coats his lungs. He begins his tour of duty,
flicks on the computer, the only window

in the operation room, eye of the new bird
which has none. He sleeps with his own half open,

holding the bird with his invisible string,
as if the war were not unkind. The casualties—

what is a casualty if not swallowed
by its facelessness—the digital idea of death

comes flapping across the water. The blood
can be viewed from a satellite, the way that

mourning spills immediately through the minus
sign, through the semblance of a bowl.