Bird Bone Poem by Juliet Cook

Bird Bone Poem by Juliet Cook

Poetry, Vol. 1.2, Sept. 2007

These birds are intermediaries
of a vast yet indeterminate terrain.

These birds will only eat pumpernickel bread
and only if the crumbs are shaped like otoliths.

These birds translate flight into fringed lavender wavelengths.

These birds live inside certain people’s lungs;
try to peck their way free
as if our lungs were new and ovoid.

These birds are in favor of spiny urchins doing their damage
in a tank of pink anemones, creating a strange colloid.

These birds’ favorite word is dollface.
They like to tap their beaks against porcelain teeth.
Not veneers. Doll teeth.

These birds are oddly obsessed with the anorexic bodyshape.
Some have even been known to email young anorexic girls
pretending to also be young anorexic girls
so they could trade photos of how thin they were.
How their feathers are falling out.
How their beaks are becoming wobbly.
Despite this gaunt gauntlet, their eyes
are brighter than ever. Enviable beads.
Jewelry box rib cagery.

If these birds attack smaller birds
and demolish their shiny eyes
and are deemed guilty,
then they will be sent to the bird gallows.
This is a very solemn occasion involving triangle music
and hanging by grosgrained ribbon.

These birds enter & exit the light blue dream box.
If you depress a special compartment,
sometimes a poem is released,
sometimes a bird is released.
Sometimes a poem-shaped bird refuses to fly.

Despite the adamant streaks,
these birds deeply adore poetry.
Some have even been known to pledge tiny bones in exchange
for a handwritten poem. These bones are wrapped
in periwinkle velvet; fastened with fragile twine.

This bone-parcel is a sticky yet precise arrangement—
syllable vertebrae laminated with plaintive honey.

Parlor Tricks by Juliet Cook

Your Passport by Harmony Button

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