I ate a songbird for dinner last night.
I wanted to feel the rhythm ribbed.
Resplendence uncaged.
When I held her

between my teeth,
the sky wept
with a Biblical anger.
Rain raging.

I sent her like a dove
to sing signs of life
in the collapsed cavern of my chest –
muted mission territory.

Perhaps while she’s decomposing
down there she will fall
in love with the piper
I ate last week,

sand like grit between my teeth.
Perhaps she won’t reject
the open invitation of his solitude
like I did.

I did not want to confront
the loneliness he revealed,
but it turns out
his body in my chest

gave me companionship
I didn’t know I was missing.
The winged wraiths are good together.
But I am, in fact, still alone.

Why is this consummation,
a devout devouring,
still unfulfilling?
I will feast

on feathered flesh –
maybe a sacrificial dove
or the second robin of spring
(how could I take the first?) –

until the new fledgelings –
part piper, part song –
now a integral part of me,
carry us up

to face the grace
of a generous god
who begs me to take him in
until he fills

every cave and grotto
of my longing.
I look forward to changing
for good.

Published in Issue 3 of Vermillion, literary magazine of the English Department of The Catholic University of America.

Leave a Reply