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Wayward Birds

by Carly Bush 3 months ago in love poems
Runner-Up in From Across the Room ChallengeRunner-Up in From Across the Room Challenge
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First and last.

I find love often synthesized

in dust motes with sun hands,

in the cheekbones of children,

in the ribs of starving dogs,

in the eyes of roadkill.

Love made of blood and muscle and sinew,

love contained like electrical impulses within my veins—

that is something else entirely,

something I would be rid of:

a poison flower, a plea bargain,

an animal gnawing its own bone in a steel trap.

That love is rare, as rare as a near-extinct bird.

At times the silence breaks for the stirring of those wayward birds,

lounge-singing, warbling, empty-hearted wailing elevator music birds,

all with muscular wings and shameless voices,

creatures too beautiful to belong here.

They arrived here from nothing,

flew here down the long, curved trajectory,

the evolutionary path

that inevitably made them small, compact, fluttering.

I cannot ignore them when they arrive.

Sun-heavy, drenched in fear—

that is how they find me,

or I find them,

or we happen upon each other,

connections in the heady dusk

that feels like drunkenness.

Tonight, I will let you close enough to touch the hidden places,

brain and spine, heart and hypothalamus,

but later, I will know that I was fooled, endorphin-bold,

and that our frontal cortices were like frayed cardigans.

We will engage in a Bacchanal,

cutting our feet on shards of broken glass

and drinking idol-wine that will go bitter in my mouth,

waiting under a moon that keeps some docile

while it sets us wild and unrestrained.

Tomorrow, I will be loved again, loved better,

and the rarest of the rare will settle on the telephone wire,

beautiful songs from a beautiful throat,

serenading the soul born with a blue lapel,

pulling apart the wishbone where my ribcage used to be.

I will love like a corvid,

mercurial, intellectual, sharing gold with him,

and he will have a soft, crooning voice

that grows hoarse in the darkness

and rouses me from ennui in the afternoon

and sings me back to sleep in the mornings

tangled amongst bleach-white sheets.

love poems

About the author

Carly Bush

Short fiction that captures the discordant moments. Instagram: carlyaugustabush

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