Birds sat on tables poised at every angle
their feathers clouded with motes of dust,
preening their colour under clouds that puffed
from creased bindings; and in a single
volume they complete a year’s migration
to make their nest on the second floor
of a London house.
Or now browse, with eye to your own
distant journey, Murrays and Baedekers, arranged
in steady caravans across an unnamed desert;
a line of vermillion carrying silks and spices
into drawing rooms
and solitary studies.