cw: dead animal

i have to talk about the dead sparrow but nobody wants to talk about the dead sparrow bc
to them it what it says on the tin, but to me
it’s a poem about
my fear, seated in the amygdala and abdominal organs
the stillness and pliancy to which a prod responds
the spinal agony of its Pythagorean angle, half trapped and half freed

it’s belly up on the curb, ant-folded and two-winged
and definitely
a bird
not the bulbous slug i took its head for, draping with its beak like
the southern point on a compass
how did you get in the mailbox
are there more of you buried in these bricks?
birds, birds, birds bodies, bird bones, birds piling up in a dark cavity
i didn’t even know existed?

and did i fail you, little-hearted thing? when i heard your cries
and took them
for a cricket?

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