after a photograph taken by Aracelis Girmay
Flocked on the cold, slick street,
birds partake of an unexpected feast,
what we might consider a pittance
of crumbs. Birds sip the same rain
from stone basins & bathe as small siblings
huddle inside a tub nightly, wings touching,
sharing twigs & twine & anything raw
with possibility, enough to build every nest!
Do they ever pray for safety from the beaks
of others? Lose everything over worms?
I think of them singing to each other in the dark
for seasons on end, calling when no one else will.
How they make my heart flutter
this damp winter morning, delighted
by their easy fellowship until a sudden,
deep yearning breaks open in my chest —
a screeching climbs up my throat. A friend
prefers me grounded & hungry. I try & try
but can’t unknow this. Circled around broken
bread, these winged sisters gladly share
the sky, tree branches, rooftops & ledges,
sometimes peering into windows at our lives
or dying when fooled by clean glass.about the author