Rapt [or/ure]

The hawk descend­ed and hov­ered, just out­side the parked car. The top side of the hawk was, as you would expect, nor­mal to phe­no­type; a beatif­ic mut­ed mot­tle of browns with hints of rud­dy edges as its feath­ers adjust­ed with the ease of long prac­tice to the ther­mal it bal­anced upon. Then, under the wing and for the hawk’s body, a bowl-shaped foam of neur­al net­worked fluffed white and grays, a scal­lop­ing of feath­er approx­i­ma­tions, rip­pling with zephyrs and eddies that made no sense in any con­text, much less this one. The very pres­ence and affect of the hawk is meant to stymie, but the sub­tle impli­ca­tion once the ini­tial aston­ish­ment fades is clear, the hawk is a tuned pro­jec­tion from some­thing, some­place else.

Ah, I am dream­ing.

It is still just a hawk, though, even if it is also more.

I look it in the eyes with my mind’s eyes, since I am asleep. It comes over to the win­dow and I roll it down. It can­not find pur­chase to perch, so I extend my fist for it. The talons go right through my hand, but there is no pain. I give a wing and the top of its head a scratch and get out of the car. It perch­es on my head, flap­ping its wings, agi­tat­ed, but not at me.

I awak­en, and the hand I recent­ly hurt, where the hawk became my fist, is cramped into itself.

I nev­er get the mes­sage; maybe one day I will.