the indian is sitting in a tree near the edge of a spillway. he whistles, he calls. he wants me to climb peeling bark, to fold legs and arms, to balance on bare feet. I lock the car door. I take off my shoes. it is cold, high on this branch. his brown skin is feathered; he wraps me in a wing. he points at the deep-water lake with a cigarette. this is where we come from, he says. we swim until we can walk. we walk until we can fly. there is time for everything. he shifts, and his yellow beak is wet in the setting sun.
he has nothing more to say.