day 20: we ate the birds


We Ate the Birds


This morning

the cat left a body on the porch.

It was a yellow songbird,

the size and shape of my fist.


The cat wasn’t hungry.

I understand. This morning

I dipped my pinky finger into a cup of hot tea

just past the fingernail so

I could feel the heat from all angles


while she stalked a warbler

and sunk her teeth into his throat.

A friend of mine admitted that after the initial allure

of romance, women begin to lose their color.

I imagine a film of myself in the kitchen,

greyscale, looking sallow and too thin.


Lately, the cat and I share black matte pupils.

We hunch together over the body

of the bird, plucking feathers to reveal

a sheet of transparent skin and


delicate, hollow bones.

Though neither of us have an appetite,

the cat and I make a meal of his body.

We leave behind only keratin:


the beak, two feet,

a bundle of saffron feathers.

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