the birds are rising
the ground is moving, everything coming up south
they are licking the air, tasting the ground with their feet and burning holes in the minds, holes in the arms,

fires into the couches in the scorched evenings–the embers of the fingernails wave and dip black leather and spices, eye deep in malice, love like matching clavicles on the edge of flute-notes is chased around the warehouses,

fought in the scratching of the walls,

in the lights and the spinning bits of plaster that flutter like the tools of ravens
disappearing like the smoke in the mornings

waking with the dusk

living only to breathe

in the night’s fog

touching only the metal walls, and ashing herself into the brick, half stepping into beauty, like

she means it, finding anything

steady, hoarding away all the quiet moments and holding them close
sculpting everything from loneliness
and drawing happiness like a mangled worm

from their rasping beaks.

[artwork by Kotaro Chiba]

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