I Don’t Know the Biochemistry of a Hummingbird

green and brown hummingbird
I can only wonder
at this blurred
whir of evidence, clouded
in the blue fan
of a thousand
wings.  I want
to feel
their million beats
per second on my beard
and lashes,
from each swig,
the dozen
manic intervals,
stomach a zoom
to the forsythia, whose
scream of tender yellow
faded and fell
last week.
can mere filaments
in tiny shoulders
and reflex so fast?
can miniscule
sipping, the sucking
through a needle beak,
fuel a miniature tyrant’s
relentless burn?
in the resting,
which is not even
a breath,
how rapid
the saturation
of liquid sugar
into blood, into
wing muscle, into
instinctual motive
for a horizontal
life? And how
rapid the

D. R. James

Recently retired from nearly 40 years of teaching college writing, literature, and peace studies, D. R. James lives, writes, bird-watches, and cycles with his psychotherapist wife in the woods near Saugatuck, Michigan. His latest of ten collections are Mobius Trip and Flip Requiem (Dos Madres Press, 2021, 2020), and his prose and poems have appeared internationally in a wide variety of print and online anthologies and journals.