tern, how do i burn half my body
just to return home without crumbling
robin, how do i whistle these lacework trills
above the steel demands of garbage trucks
pigeon, how do i shine like gaspuddle rainbows
without bathing in the street gutters
eagle, how do i fasten my scowl so tightly
that it is not weakened by wind or death
crane, how do i dance on wheatstalk legs
and not bend but to bow graciously
hummingbird, what is the velocity of hunger?
This poem appeared in the print edition of Ecdysis for the Fall 2016 issue. It grew into itself under the guidance of Jorie Graham.