Fear the caging of birds. Strangled and brown.
Moving here was like crossing a river,
debriefings, scaling back. Clay pots clogged,
awkward like an ingrown hair, browning down
in the sun. Staring at walls draws a crowd,
like a hardened nipple, a tear-streaked thigh.
No more packing things in paper she says.
She throws screams while running and looking back.
Nothing will blossom in this heat, heavy
holding, hurry and hurt; all these h words,
but never heal. Never healing, at all.
Finding a spot to sit still, fill my cup
empty it out, pouring steam down drains—I
am the one left clawing at the cage door.
Chelene Knight is Room's managing editor. This poem is forthcoming from her newest book, Dear Current Occupant (BookThug, 2018) and is published here as part of the No Comment project.
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