passerines, passivity


   that your wingspan endured
   for an entire season of smothering me
 

   until I was a wide-open mouth
   grown into a fledgling's nest, my throat downed
 

   and ornamented with a single last flight of breath.
 

-
 

   that there was your flutter of
   hailfall. beating a litany into me,
 

   that I failed yieldingly and gossamer.
   that each time you struck a starling mid-flight
 

   from his decision to the front door. each time
   that I collided with a creased neck, stunned dumb
 

   in the knot and bough that was your right
   bicep. in your paradigm of a rough bark, that
 

   I was a failing of crushed beak. and the jay-
   blue that would decorate the gash of my right eye
 

   in hues of dead and degrees of dying at
   each dawn, yet another shiner. but still that
 

   there was the faint, warmth of an affection
   in your first glow of fistbreak as it cracked fast
 

   and fair across the horizon
   on my browline. hills painted the selfsame
 

   black and blue of a contusion. that I tried
   again and again to migrate at the first blister of
 

   daylight. but that I always wintered into a 6am hush.
 

-
 

   that I made a hollow in your
   sacrum, only when you weren't looking. for
 

   a birdbox way to escape the hot,
   blurred glaring of that hungover sunrise.
 

   but that a cold front of an open palm
   could always clip me on the breast, and
 

   that I became a finch at your slightest
   motion. that I became the warble from a crop, wet
 

   with the red of a cardinal. that I froze thin as a  
   feather at your touch, each daybreak an impossibility of
 

   thawing in your arms. and that I really thought that
   your body heat would keep me through the winter. but
 

   instead that I died in your hand. that a bent  
   cockcrow fell from me, just after the sound of a right
 

   hook puncturing the morning, an aspiration of buckshot.
 

-
 

   that you clasped me, closed
   like a swallow in your winterfists,  
 

   minus 10 degrees. of fingers
   that taught my throat of unbecoming. of
 

   your habit of faltering at the sight that was
   my face, mottled blue and tonic. at that thrushing
 

   of eyes hopeless, flitting upwards,
   popping smalled and black as a martyr on fire. that
 

   airless and convinced only of
   the porousness and air in my bones. that I proved
 

   the possibility of life in a chokehold.
   but that the cadence of my eggshell breath
 

   punctuated my lips with the morse code of
   a dead tongue, my chirp, my paean. to all the sacredness
 

   of mysteries that love and possess,
   including; that the duty to shelter a little life lies
 

   in the clip of a wing. that the  
   wisdom to end a suffering begins with the last
 

   snap of a neck.
 

-
 

   rebounding off your bottle
   and smack into the pane of your fist
 

   that I collided full throttle
   against your cigarette-cured glass
 

   and lapsed back again into your arms,
   a wreath of collarbone and clavicle laid more fragile
 

   than a crouch of eggs. that
   I was clutched more by choicelessness
 

   than by a poultice of your crushed
   hands, buried paler and more skeletal
 

   than all of the hatchlings that die
   of an open gullet by february. that fast and sore,
 

   perched on the cuff of your embrace,
   I was solved like a quiver of dissonant
 

   vocal chords, a morningbird's last attempt at song.