Nighthawk Time


The first of summer’s nighthawks
fly in silky loops
around the street lamp after nightfall
where insects cannot resist
the light’s attraction. Sweep after elegant
sweep, they swallow
on the wing. By day they rest as camouflage
on desert limbs and sleep
the sleep of the devout,
who believe in more than they can see.
They come as solitary monks of the air
pursuing salvation where all curtains
are black and the altars
are electric.
They seek.
They find.
They enter the kingdom of insects
as feathered wind.

David Chorlton lives in Phoenix and enjoys a view of the desert mountain that occupies its space surrounded by the city. He has had an unusual year in which watching the local wildlife has been a help in his recovery. Read other articles by David.