From the foot of Cotopaxi
and across the Gulf

a Blackburnian warbler
follows a pulse,

follows Polaris
and the Pole's magnetic field

through travail
and travel's long ordeal,

until he drops
to a black walnut's
pinnate leaves

tossing like waves
in the North Sea

and glances toward
my lamplit, stationary world
of smooth planes:

against a cloud,
his throat's flame.

From Traveler by Devin Johnston. Copyright 2011 by Devin Johnston. Excerpted by permission of the publisher, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, LLC.


by Devin Johnston

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