Courtship Dive

A broad-tailed hummingbird,
the one with the green back and the scarlet throat,
flies between two pines
at opposite sides of the lot,
pauses out of reach,
pivots in place,
first to the left: here’s my throat,
then to the right: here’s my tail,
pivoting left, and then to the right,
all the time whirring
around an invisible pin.

And then, of course, there is no pin.
That also was a mirage,
sound faking form:
a fiddle string vibrating so hard
it loses itself.

In the near dark
when the deer come out
he soars sixty feet into the air,
turns hard to ground
in a suicide dive
from which he must pull out,
but who could see it?

She can see it, a friend told me once,
down low in the lilacs —
sees him resurface
high in his inverted world,
where gemstones drop loose from the clouds
and lightning races into the sky
from the loving earth.

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