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Swiftness


Take for example the swift;
it has two small eyes,
two wings, two feet,
one beak, bifurcated tail,
careful array of feathers.

Now, in the mind's eye,
remove the feathers.
Not so that it is without feathers,
but such that it was never-feathers.
Now the tail, de-tailed,
the beak — never-beak.
Next the wings, unwinged,
the feet, the little eyes.

They are not necessary;
something else swifts the swift.
Unbodied, it is swiftness —
a parabola described upon the sky,
the idea of the swift takes wing.


Alex Marsh