First, they perch on the front porch lamp. Then, they smuggle mud and twigs to lay masonry: each plucked twig, an expenditure of wings, each mud bead, stucco that trusses sprig to sprig. On tiled steps, their cup spills, the overflow of twigs that don’t fit, the clay slip of pearls that drop from beaks. Watching the nest grow, I don’t sweep discards. Each dry blade of straw is long as a tailfeather. Each clod of clay, an opaque pearl. Swooping and diving through air, the barn swallows catch insects on the wing, then scoop mud for the nest without once touching down. They are restless creatures of feather and flight. Day’s end, the barn swallows perch again on lamp and nest, and peer at me through clerestory windows. Looking within and without, in each other’s lives we see the detritus of misfit straw and misfired clay, that multiply like loaves and fishes. Yet, in each scrappy act, we see that love is restless once the work’s begun, that love meanders like a stream until its task is done.