Gnarled branches make a lonely home
To this finch along Tunari’s slope.
Cloud-cut roses, better made
For isolated battle, quiver beneath
Its grasping claws, soft pomegranate
Plumage pressed against peeling bark;
Dark reptilian scales hard as curse’s shell
Give way—they must.
There are few birds of this species,
All bound to subsist in this landscape
Of polylepis and solitude,
A dying bird and a dying forest
Living together: one gives to the other song,
The other to the one rest.
Beneath the laughing sun
Root deepens for coveted drink
Beak scours for scattered seed
An unlikely pair
Determined against extinction.