Summer Tanager Montgomery

I'm gonna name my first daughter Summer Tanager,
the prettiest bird in Arizona

in the state's surprisingly lush riparian areas
among the green leaf trees
the pink rocks
and gray-brown streams
the Tanagers are BRIGHT RED

like heart red
like strawberry red
like Crayola 8-pack red

redder than a cardinal
or a hummingbird feeder

the full potential of a color met
from tail to wings to crest

I think even its bill is red
even its eyes 
even its whole bird-soul

I go wowwee! every time I see one 
just like I would with my daughter

she could be all red too
mask, costume, and paint
but she wouldn't have to

The Beast says
HOW COULD YOU TAKE CARE OF HER
WHEN YOU CAN'T TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF

it makes me wanna stop the fantasy

but I keep searching for bright birds
and sometimes unconsciously write
all over a piece of notebook paper
"Summer Tanager Montgomery"


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