It’s 3:00 am and the flutter of your wing
breaks open the cocoon of our tangled limbs.
The quiet enters and we are again unsteady;
Scarred by the song of the cuckoo bird
that you can’t drown out and I still cannot hear.
I reach out my hand, blind in the darkness,
hoping to grasp onto something that will still
the gathering storm clouds that threaten to flood
this delicate nest.
You clasp it gently, this cooing something,
and place your song in the palms of my hands,
fragile and not yet fully formed,
desperate to be sung and frightened to be heard—
but my palms are rough.
A hardened cage clutching too tightly
and you can’t breathe past the talons around your neck.
Then, as if cursed, you slip through my fingers
and pool around my feet like blood from a fresh wound.

It’s night again and the cage is empty,

but the birds will no longer sing.


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