From Graphite to Watercolors

Had that spiderling not crawled
across my breast, a lone star’s

first bright wink in defiance
of a dark, emptying nest,

I would not have thrown
the sheets in water,

or learned to kill.
Fear condemns the spirit

to close its feathers
in small vibrations, like those

of a caged cockatoo, old
but still craving affection,

told to shut the hell up
when it whistles, pretty bird pretty bird.

I sing to my master who created
this cup stained red with wine

poured out to prove
the syrinx self-oscillates.

Unimpressed, he
gives me corn and locks the cage.


When you came, you brought:
A mirror, a perch, a whole songbook.

A golden harp, a dandelion,
a lavender purse, and gentle

words that fell clear
like a waterfall whose body

trapped the sun, misted
cool melodies upon my sulphur crest,

recursive, bleeding
at last, amidst the canopies.


Published in Eunoia Review.


The Voice of the Dispossessed