poem index

what you have left

by Ashley Roach-Freiman

is all birds, in the end
 
it’s throwing the birds with ham fist
 
throwing then
shooting 
 
feather explosion shimmering frisson 
 
of blue red black tawny feathers
 
& tiniest bones look look look 
 
bird bones they’re not like my bones
 
even a little bit or the bones of anyone i know so
fragile so delicate you knit
 
with them tiny needles you pierce
 
your daughter’s ears, if you had a daughter
 
but what you have is a handful of birds
and your heart the rifle
 
your tongue licks the ground like a plate
 
taste all the feathers
and bloody clay