It turns out I was killing the birds. I gave them
what they wanted, what they craved: suet
packed with seeds, hung swinging on the sycamore
with chains. Suet brought the downy, the bellied,
brought small clinging birds from the sadness
of the woods. It fattened them. It readied them
for winter. But with spring came the melting world:
too rich, too much weakened their bones.
And snapped them.
You were light as a whisper
when you lay on me. I ran my fingers over your chest
as though I were dressing you in air—the only clothes
I would ever want on you. Still, the mockingbird
wants it the most, diving at the other birds, driving them
away, his gray black white reel of wings—so fierce,
I can’t even take it back. I never knew he would be
angry, this bird I’ve heard so much about, sung about
in songs, the one I was supposed to buy my baby, the one
who learned my baby’s cries.
There’s sun on the porch
and I want you so bad I think I might die. I have hurt you
harder than anyone has ever. I don’t know what is right.
I don’t know whose turn it is to beg, to cry, to be wronged,
to be wanted. All I know is when you lay down on me,
I felt no weight. And when you touched my breasts, they began
to weep. And when I said I was sorry, sorry, I am so so
sorry, you lowered your head to my chest and drank.