Archilochus Colubris

by José A. Alcántara

The hummingbirds have arrived,
beating their invisible wings beyond the window
where buds are beginning to break.

They come bearing the light of Panama,
Colombia, Costa Rica, the red fire of the tropics,
here, to this mountain, still spotted in snow.

I go out among them, in my red coat,
hoping they will mistake me for a flower.
They buzz close, hovering before my face.

If only one of them would touch me, I would
sprout feathers and take to the air, my wings
tracing infinity, my throat turning to rubies.

From The Bitten World. Tebot Bach, 2021.
Reprinted with permission.

Read this and other poems by José A. Alcántara in The Bitten World, available for purchase online.

It’s hard not to feel wonder and awe for the migrating birds that finally return to us, “bearing the light” of the faraway places they’ve been. Here, José A. Alcántara, who writes with such deep affection of his connection to the natur