The people of the north are long-fingered and dark.
Their bones are hollow.
Their eyes are large and sensitive poet’s eyes.
Their wings are seven feet from tip to tip.
Their feet are clever.
Aleeloo works in the freak show.
He sits in his booth while the marks shuffle past.
He broods silently or glides ponderously from perch to perch.
Between shows he plays cards with the midget twins and the mermaid.
The mermaid always wins.
He never remembers his dreams.
He dreams of his parents, of cities filled with his people.
He dreams of slender towers and skies filled with six months of light.
Of shouts of delight and tournaments of poetry and courtship.
He remembers only the ache of homesickness.
In New York he slips away.
He pays $20 to ride to the top of the Empire State Building with the rest of the marks.
At the top he leans out over the railing and lets the wind carry him up and out over the city.
He rides the wind like the memory of home.