Blackbirdan online journal of literature and the artsSpring 2018  Vol. 17 No. 1
an online journal of literature and the arts
 print preview

King Vulture

In the aviary, you plunge from branch
to broken branch that barely holds your heft.

Once your ancestor sky-buried my ancestor.
Once you burned carrion into Sirius.

Forgive me, Mayan Messenger, this morning
the only news is of the fence and the rain-ruined faces.

How many breaths do you carry in your caruncle?
Inside this sternum: a brother I never met,
a baby niece to an earthquake, a thousand sisters
to a revolution, Apa. All these séances teach me
nothing about the art of leaving or the pinioned stars.

Show me, Body Breaker, the sacred hunger—
the pillage of the dead names in my throat.  

return to top