dead baby birds
once i too died young.
willow brushing hair. the nest
knit of tinsel & gnarled branch.
a laptop cord wrapped around my ankle.
kept my feathers in a ziploc bag.
shed them carefully one by one.
i find the body on the stoop
of the abandoned row house
beside my apartment. sprawled
like dinosaur remains. skull emptying.
bees hover above like angles.
i'd like to know the truth
about where their spirits go.
are they as fragile as their bones.
type-face into the cement. or, are they hefty?
laden to the ground. a chorus of little graves.
every other bird chirp you hear
is a ghost. every other feather you find is
one of your own. i would fly over the town
& note the best places to disappear:
graveyard hill. diner parking lot.
a queer little swallow. yellow to my soul.
or was i the april-ed blue bird?
an agent of melancholy music. tell me
how do you give an honorable burial
to such a small creature? i bring him
white sidewalk flowers. the flies growl
as i work. knit a ring around him.
tell him i know what it feels like.
maybe that is a lie. it has been years
since i went. the sun hums around us.
promises to shave away what remains.
at home, i find a feather
when i sweep the kitchen. cup it in my palm
& let it free out the back door.