Kamilah Aisha Moon

           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.

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