Brancusi’s Golden Bird

       The toy
       become the aesthetic archetype

As if
       some patient peasant God
       had rubbed and rubbed
       the Alpha and Omega
       of Form
       into a lump of metal

       A naked orientation
       unwinged    unplumed
           —the ultimate rhythm
       has lopped the extremities
       of crest and claw
       the nucleus of flight

       The absolute act
       of art
       to continent sculpture
       —bare as the brow of Osiris—
       this breast of revelation

       an incandescent curve
       licked by chromatic flames
       in labyrinths of reflections

       This gong
       of polished hyperaesthesia
       shrills with brass
       as the aggressive light
       its significance

       The immaculate
       of the inaudible bird
       in gorgeous reticence… 

This poem is in the public domain. Published in Poem-a-Day on September 15, 2019, by the Academy of American Poets.