Another Conversation About Birds

Clouds interfere with eloquence
as we share stories of all the birds
we could not save. We are seated

on opposite sofas, tearing apart
the silent, squelching skin of grilled
chicken breast, and what is arresting

isn’t broken beaks, oil-slicked
plumes, little pink bodies
half-consumed by little black ants,

or the fallen trees out back,
a chorus of soundless sleeping,
with many more fallen nests.

What slides down my throat
is beacon, darkness, and these
are sea words, which are ship

words, which sail or capsize
like birds that leave the nest
or birds that steal meal from water.

And suddenly, there are anchor
words. Sunken words. Predatory
depressions in the shape of talons.

Fishing nets bursting with bodies,
some fall through the holes, dried out
singing their sinking of unbecoming.

You ask about glowing words.
Light words. But all that croons
is acid, bleaching, pockets of extinction.


Published in Midway Journal.

Jihad Jihadi Jihadist