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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 -
Posted 07/10/14
previously published in The Journal, Summer 2012
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