jack galmitz | sometimes you're all the hope that is

Sometimes you’re all the hope that is

When I walk these streets I pass through angels, a bird with broken wings. How many yards, what speed, what reflection, did it take for it to break its neck. It looked at me. I could see it could see. But I was no savior; couldn’t hold the leaving. Things happen. Suddenly, I’m thrust in a situation over which I cave. Its eyes held mine like the hands of a small child. What could I say. Whistle a tune to soothe it, as if I weren’t afraid. It couldn’t be fooled by music however inspired it may. It needed assurance; it needed to know I was brave. I picked it up and stroked its head, small as the tears that angels shed, and said, “plover chick, far from the shores of birth, soon you’ll be back amongst the others at the waters growing up.” The eyes were wide and small and undecided, but I was all it had so it trusted. I was late for work. I decided to take off, take a train and go to Montauk Point and lay the bird in the dunes or in the flats or Marram grass, where it could die where it knew best, could smell the salty air, the wind off the sea’s back, the piping perhaps of its own kind in the whirlwind air. I put it under my hat and off we went. I whispered to it and told it the name of each stop, so it would store it in memory of its life. A man beside me eyed me in a way that I felt sure he knew I had a plover chick on my head, but what he didn’t know was the bird had found me or the other way and I was just following orders. We got off and there was the Montauk lighthouse at Turtle Hill, the furthest tip of Long Island. It’s a heavily wooded area and I could see and I showed the bird the converging of the Atlantic Ocean and Block Island Sound. I took a trail into the woods and sat on a rock and told the chick to take a look at the seals sunning on the offshore rocks. I’m not sure it could see anything more than a blur, but there we were finally. As the sky turned pink and lavender, I said goodbye to the bird and placed it in some sand grass. It’s eyes were still wide and it was still alive and I think it thanked me.

attached some Jack Galmitz book cover…

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