i found a bird by the window

i. i found a bird by the window the other day

shaking; feathers on the concrete

and i wanted to shatter

for this poor, broken thing

i wanted to love it better

with sheer force of will

i wanted to cradle it with shaking fingertips

and be best friends until the end

of our days

yeah, we’d hold hands in the hallways

and eat lunch by the steps

and he would need me more than anyone else

he would never leave, never run short

of messes to clean up

and problems to be helped

so i could bitch and moan about the mess on the floor

even as i held his hand and spilled the milk

i’d spin around in circles, i’d keep him on a leash

(it was never about the bird, and it was always about me)

ii. i found a bird by the window

and i tried my best to fix him, with clumsy fingers

and messy breaths,

i’m slamming my fists against the washing machine

‘cause who was i

to try to fix things i can’t control

like wheelchairs and blank eyes

i don’t cry when he dies a stranger

skin sagging on frail bones

when there is nothing left to do

i sink to the floor

and plant myself a garden of belladonna and oleander

but my shaking hands

can’t even make nightshade grow

iii. i found a bird by the window the other day

crouched beside him, felt his quivering wings and his racing heart

took a minute for him to recover

but he did; fluttered shaky wings and took off to the sky

with the dreams i’ll never chase

and the dust on my skin

with the ripped-up carpet

and the terror pulsing in my chest

i found a bird by the window the other day

and i cried as i watched it leave

‘cause it’s gonna be happy

it’s gonna be fine

and i’m gonna cry

i’m gonna spend this afternoon standing out in the rain

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