bleeding heart dove o phantom bullet where did you exit me? all the trees turn into hands reaching to pull down a curtain. soon it will be night & i will count street lights & guns. a dagger floats nearby ready to carve flesh. fish lay on dinner tables with their eyes all glossy & afraid. i find a stream to look at myself. if i'm not careful the mark will turn into a true gash. a wound is often originated in the mind. that's where it turns red & blooms. i have seen deer shot & stumbling. i have seen boys fall limp in open fields. a scab forms over the sunset. i'm preening myself of saddnesses & dreaming of the right kind of weapon. bow & arrow maybe or a spear. someday, i hope to return as a poet or at least a diamond. something sturdier. on the forest floor everything is stretching above me. find a berry. find a grub. whistle to myself. ache is spreading across my wings from the blood mark. soon i will nestle in the brush & try to think of nothing but feathers. feathers falling from a tree. once, a friend told me every death becomes one of our feathers. i tried to count mine but fell asleep. there must be a tree that grows guns. o gunpowder. o fire. o ambush. o man trekking through the wood. let me be your omen. guard your colors. bleed alone.