The wing-flutter resolves like a breath of fog
by San Francisco Bay. Like sand or white sails.
This year, every snapshot of Robert Plant onstage
describes the outline and contour of his cock
through jeans. This is that. But the heart inside
the successful crooner is what it is: Frank Sinatra
with a smidgen of Elvis tossed in for good measure:
Shelley’s Adonais resurrected with a mane of hair
and management, a record deal and Jimmy Page.
Now the fingers tipped with nicotine gesture
to the starveling crowd about to feast—
the hand dealing with both a lit Marlboro
and a bottle of English beer. Which is when
the rock dove lands on the other hand. Settles
like news of the death of Keats settled on Shelley.
This congregation still wants directions to Paradise
if not ushered to the stairs. Taught the shibboleth
for entry. What it gets is the flight of the dove,
impromptu cooing, the talons ringing fingers
as if what we call beautiful is straightening
the curve of its spine and starting to sing.
Photograph from the concert at Kezar Stadium in San Francisco: June 2, 1973