02/03

breaking out into feathers 

the roadkill on noble street is reliable.
always one by the bottom of the hill
& one near the parker's drive way & another
deposited by commonwealth road.  
i'd hold mini funerals in my head
as i'd walk past squirrels & rabbits 
& the occasional folded bird on my way
to middle school. saying to myself, 
"i bet they thought they were headed 
towards more green."
saying, "i wish i could burry you."
i tried once. this one particular bird 
with its wings splayed out as if 
statued in mid-flight. hints of iridecense 
made dawn light echo in her feathers.
i'd stolen a ziploc bag from the cupboard
& thought i could use it to lift the bird 
at least into the nearby field.
i knelt down & couldn't do it. not because
the body replused me but because
the bird stared into me & saw my bones
with what was left of her bold black eyes. 
i knew what it was like for her to perch
& flock & flush.
i thought she'd start thrashing 
if i grasped her.
come alive & refuse to be buried. i gave up though 
& left her there. watched slowly
as she turned from feather to meat 
to bone. i learned too much from those creatures.
found morning and mourning to be closer
than they seemed. how daybreak
comes to remind us of our bodies
& their sequences. all my short funerals
i attended in secret. walking over 
& over. when i visit my parent's house
i still amble the same path each morning. i am
a scheme of habits & re-memories. 
there's no sidewalk on noble street 
& sometimes the cars drive too close. 
yesterday a truck's side grazed my shoulder 
& i could have sworn
i broke out in feathers. my heart
quick as a bird's as i watched the tail lights 
dissapear into the corn fields. 
all these animals are still resting 
in me. how have i become a catacomb 
for brief lives. 

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