“What The Bird Collects” by Glenn W. Cooper | Pinterest | Facebook | Blind Dog Press
Feasting on Dysphoria and Sparrows
It is almost October in the woods,
where I am held at an encampment,
my room full of heavy mountain
air that hangs syruped on my jaw.
A man is telling me that I am a woman,
instead of monstering
flesh, paled like wisteria
stacked with smoke that mirrors
the cigarettes held in his glass bowl.
I dump the ashes to give water,
to the sparrows, luring them to my
windowsill, catching them in
my hands and stuffing them
in my cheeks, my words becoming
plumed with promises of redemption—or
something like absolution.
The birds are so particular as they flail,
their erratic song penetrating my wisdom
teeth, but still I do not become wiser.
The man later removes
the scraps, sneaking a
plunged hand deeper to remove innards—
my personal now made public.
I hang his desire like damp blankets on
the laundry lines, waiting for
my bones to turn acrid and unpleasable,
passing the time by pulling feathers free from
my bleeding gum line.