Birds Keep Nothing in Their Bones
My Darling Z, My Feverlily -
I have been made a fool of.
The far wind harrows me: these limb-stripped
voices, this ghost pipe, a hymnal
lined with splintered bone.
Years I thought he’d be my story’s end
and he was not. Pity me these indiscretions,
my simpering. He thinks only
of your slivered tongue, your thighs.
When the final bird was served
I ate it all and left the rest for scrap.
These bones have not yet
whitened to your taste. You demand patella,
clavicle, a toothsome ankle. A child’s milk molar
rooted still to jaw. I would like to bend before you,
brush your hair. I offer up this flayed skin,
a hyphenated strip. Your fair hair
a hieroglyph. Your face a bitter white,
the bitten cuticle pinking.
Pity me these long lost wishes.
When night sails down the howling
is dreadful. You say there is no thing like death
but I have been bent and entered
by prayer and if this is not
death’s slender walking -