It’s 3:00 am and the flutter of your wing
breaks open the cocoon of our entangled 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 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 pieced together from broken bonds
and bones.
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.
Hardened cages clutching too tightly
and you cannot breathe past the talons on your neck.
Then, as if cursed, you slip through my fingers,
pool around my feet like blood from a fresh wound.

It is night again and the cage is empty,

but the birds will no longer sing.





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