Friday, May 15, 2009

Dead Birds

My boot heels sound hollow
scraping the concrete as if they were made of metal
and filled with nothing but air
my legs empty canisters
when I stop suddenly,
a bit of bile rising in my throat
and I can’t figure out why

this isn’t the first time I have come upon
these little creatures,
their purple bloated heads,
three times the size of their withered featherless bodies
their feet curling like weeds growing on a garden on themselves,

but this time, the three dead bird fetuses bother me
and I think about when I worked in a lab
and the incubator was left on and a dozen chicks hatched,
all yellow and fluffy and sweetly chirping
so happy to have come into existence in this warm little oven
and how my supervisor wouldn’t let me keep one.
She said they went to a farm,
a lie they tell children, which I guess she still considered me
and I never told her that I found their little yellow bodies
bagged in the trash out back, beaks split open as if they were still
chirping tiny hellos

And here I stand, trying to decide if I should step
left or right, to weave my way around, as other people
are passing without notice and near the warehouse
a fat starling sits on the barbed wire,
her claws grasping right onto the sharp spikes
as if that pain is nothing,
another human creation,
just like her dead babies are.

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