On Being Watched by Birds

In my mind, my memory, your dark bird’s eyes watch me with the fear of prey in the presence of a predator. My intensions misconstrued – I only wanted to hold, help, love, stop you. But when I said “don’t,” there it was: the fear, eyes black like pools of ink not yet dry. In the fewer and fewer moments spent in my arms, you whispered “every place I go, there I am,” but I failed to comprehend the extent to which you needed to outrun yourself.

Every place you went, there you were – until – you woke in the darkness of early morning, left your warmth to linger then fade in our bed, stepped out into the dewy grass, with resolution bound your own hands, gagged your mouth, pushed your head beneath water, and simply sank.

Now, roaming the streets, whispered deaths of despair ever-echo on the wind, and yours joins them, quietly, like the seed of a dandelion at night rising with the breeze – unseen, yet of the same momentary glittering brilliance as a spider’s web when it catches the gleam of the moon. Glinting, glistening, drawn in ink not yet dry.

You are in the dark eyes of birds, when they watch me in fear. I try to tell them, try to explain: I only wanted to hold, help, stop, love you. But sometimes we pick only the truths that seem sweetest, often leaving the pocked and bruised bodies of the ugly fruits hanging, or fallen to the ground, unexplored, devastatingly ignored.


Originally published by The Closed Eye Open, June 2022

Re-published by Raven’s Quoth Press, July 2022

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