This bird in your heart how she shudders
blind in the black pumping of blood
beak folded in salty wet feathers
quadrants stretched into each of your chambers
how the smudge of vein she has grown.
Nascent lids they flutter to rumbling—
a distant rolling and pulse of the sea
the thumps from her prison are sounding
the trap in your chest is quiet then pounding.
She weakens, flaps harder again.
For her you summon the darkness
this creature living and dead
press yourselves down in the muffling of covers
natal twins smothered closer than lovers
one body spinning around, and around her pain.
When next she demands your attention
listen for words from the pitch and the din
hear me hear me hear me is not so frightening.
Lift fingers to dark, gently unthreading
tender bones, folded wings that never have flown.
Now this bird she sits on your shoulder
singing on days when it rains
at night she circles the ceiling all-seeing
smudge of stain is now an all-new being
the sins that made her were not yours to own.