Over the roofscape a smoke-ghost
rises, or darkens down in inky swirls,
shape-shifter of a million souls.
It is a thing, light as an idea, a shoal
that offers no purchase to a predator.
Out in the macquis, spent cartridges
mark the vanished warblers’ passing.
On Aphrodite’s island, migrants die.
Safe here, starlings swoop and settle.
Every bird knows its own roost, like me
in my pensione near the forum.