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.
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