before the light comes

The birds begin to sing before the light comes. The voices reach me through the windows opened to the soft rustles and creaks of the dark hours. They pierce the magic time of furtive shadows, clear and urgent and free.

Is it song? Or is it speech? Is it utter joy? Do they call lovers, call children? Do they call me, call us, call all?

The strain oscillates through the air, an abstraction, cryptically enfolding me. The darkened space in which I lay irresistibly expands to the trees, the skies, the stars. I flutter up to the birds and sing with them the chaotic anthem of our souls. No beat, no refrain, no syncopation, no rhythm at all but we thrum with the cadence of life.

The birds begin to sing before the light comes. They sing the primal language, the one we all know. My feet and hands speak it, the tongue of the breathing earth, the pulsing star. We are all there together, for that brief moment before the sun snaps its fingers before our eyes, at the feral edges.

So dreams will have to do for now. Imagination defies the story to which we have agreed. Later, I will remember what we all know to be true, and sing again with the birds at the outer fringe of night.