for the birds

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.

1 year ago

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