by Phebe Ciemny

The underbellies of birds, the firm plush, blue stripe on tum, turn them now.
Make them yours.
Now and then flip them like pancakes with a fork, constrict into mute blood clot,
fingertips studded with rain, clutching utensils, clutching metal,
frostbitten bone and finger clam the flesh like
mist on glasswork in the vestry.
There are particles of air in the stained glass, maraschino red,
voids in spiritual eternity, spoons.
Whose thumbs will graze placid, soft steel bodies, bags of sand?
The birds surge or topple, sinews pushing, feather mess, frantic and quiet like a sprinkler
on the grass. Holy is its therapy endowed.
Bellies brushed by electrocuted fingernails, a surge
through the narrowing funnel of consciousness,
thin and dark like dimes dropped and shuffled across an ocean of concrete.
One cupped the bird bulge and sat while the pulse screamed like needles
into the light and vanished. There is a science to restoration, and that is
The sunset in contrast. Safety is in the birds. Tree petals lilt, impregnated
with the gravity of rain. Saffron leaves prick and descend like divers into anonymity,
sink like anchors in oblivion. Fold the candle in the towel, tuck in the yarns
like you were taught. But like Beaty the Labrador's cold, bulbous nose,
dripping as he waits, you cling to the mist with racing dread and that fragrance of light
is careening the shadows benches make. In the seat of oblivion
none will leave nor rest.