after Brianna McCarthy


Sometimes, life decides to dangle you over the edge of something:

maybe a roof or a razor blade.            Also truth: in every body, there is


a songbird, locked inside a cage of bone – and if the tarp is dark enough,

it will drop pitch into the silence of that shade,         and it may


never rise again at the flirts of the sun.           We don’t speak of this

much: don’t speak of weakness; flesh scars where we patch ourselves


together with time and concentrated grit.      Ghosts spill from

our wounds, through our blood, which dries on the ground as


the petals of their funeral flowers.      After the last calamity,

I had my mother take those petals in for a botanist’s inspection,


but he couldn’t finger the species of flora.     He always came off

a bit pale to me – like there’s not a hint of color to his personality,


like he doesn’t have a rainbow emanating from the prism of his bone

marrow the way I do.             Folks swear that’s impossible by some


definition, but they don’t know.        They can’t understand this

feeling.            What it’s like to hold the history of man inside you,


the secrets of existence, and yet be treated like yours ain’t worth

a feather, though perhaps that bird has already died of exhaustion


from singing inside a soundproof room – as I said, these walls haven’t

cried in years.              They only seem to close in, collapse to ash, cloud.


Photo by Andrew Cohen