Albatross Soufle; Bird Home

by | Jun 9, 2020 | Issue Fifteen, Poetry

Albatross Soufflé

There’s no secret to how the world is made:

it isn’t. It grows from the leavings of holy

box turtles, flightless origamis, snufflings

lost behind elder doors. Tears and Tvarscki,

Chopin and Coffins. My daughter’s goodbyes

that settle into my heart and never ease out.

It’s okay if you don’t believe me; I’m a notorious

liar who is probably just trying to get into

someone’s pants. Probably, honestly, my

own, which seem to have shrunk. I’m not

saying you aren’t as special as you think

you are, but I’m not not saying that. We’re

all the villains in our own stories looking

for a hero to defeat us before we destroy

it all. The world was left here by a nerdy

scientist who fell in love with a cloud shaped

like his father. Hair cuttings swept into a dustpan

and forgotten after the comets came. A bad

idea with little planning. This explains most

but not all things. Such as what my neighbors

are doing that sounds like a pile driver?

An advertisement for paprika-infused

albatross. A list of shrubs all grown from

the forgotten plans of the person you were

supposed to save. If I were to say I ache like

a horse smelling the grass beyond the fence,

a nesting bird dreaming of the sky, something

I can’t name but would gladly trade for store

credit, would you believe me? What if I

complimented you and your mother? Let’s

pretend we know what any of this means

long enough to fool the rubes. It’s probably

all the clouds’ fault; they take in as much

as they can, until they become real, and then

they have to let some things go. It’s a lesson

in impermanence for all of us. 

Bird Home

Let them settle in me, a phone line

drooping between tree corpses,

chatter somewhere above my ears

that smells of spices I can’t name.

I don’t mind choking on feathers

if it makes something in me rise,

a lightness in the stomach, a dark

calm in the throat. I’m not

the kind of person who throws rocks

at placid waters, anymore. I like to watch

it as it flies with the seasons. Only

I can hollow these clunky bones,

climb up somewhere worth jumping

from. And when I jump, it’s on me

to forget to fall. I’d rather cheer

on the starlings than envy the crows.

It’s a choice to start singing: hey you,

passing in the wind, come rest

beside me for a little while.

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