a starling life

i have a cardboard box full of 
terrified apostoles. found it
on my door step with my other packages.
lid taped shut. they huddle near 
each other & i put my ear 
to the surface to listen to their secrets.
paul is weeping & john is leading them
in song. they talk about starlings
& how starlings are eaten by 
other birds--plucked from the air.
a hawk & a vulture with their beaks
full of starlings feathers. 
the heart of the starlings
thrums inbetween clouds. i hear it
like a bicycle chain.
out of guilt, the other birds
burry the starling's thin bones
in the backyard. the apostoles
dream of riding birds back up
into heaven & they elegize
the starling. they talk
to the bones until the bones
push up through the dirt.
it's not enough to make 
a walking skeleton
so the scattered bones 
just twitch & hum. i check 
my own bones in the mirror.
thin & possibly capable of flight.
i did not order any apostoles
so i do not open the box 
even though the apostoles
begin to chant 
that they want to see 
daylight glow. i pretend
not to hear them. it is easy
to ignore tiny gods. i want
to live a starling life
without fear of dirt. magick 
in the soles of my feet.
a hovering forming
at the tip of my tongue. 
i return the box of holy men
& stand in the yard afterwards 
working on a bird call.
no sound comes out. i touch
the starling bones
& feel a vibration
traveling into me. the starling
& i promise to never leave
each other. i swaddle the bones
in leaves & return to a good windowsill.
the hawk & the vulture 
were watching. 

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