The Stone Bird

On my back there is a stone bird.

Fat and flightless, it’s blunt gray beak

whispers from the ashes of the past.

It ducks away from the polished coffee talk.

Knives will not cut it or hammers break

its dull gray claws

In the eyes of my child it escapes reflection.

In her tiny hands it has no weight,

her laugh drowns its dry hiss.

When I walk in the busy tunnels of the city,

I see its stub wing flapping behind my ear,

erratic and relentless, to my secret rhythm.

When I lie in the sweet darkness of my companioned bed,

its swollen belly twists against my neck,

and grating feathers powder grit into my eyes.

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