On a feathered bed I lie.

I lie.

There are no feathers...
or if there are,
they're all within my head,
strewn hap-hazard across a life-plucked landscape,
drifting in the dust.

The question, though, is not if there are feathers.
It is from whom they came,
and why they now float to pile within my mind.


At first, it was only a few she threw:
pinfeathers here and there,
so that I thought perhaps she made a nest.

But they began to clump in ragged piles,
feathers from her breast,
her lovely, perfect breast.
She tore them from her breast and thighs.
She plucked the feathers from around her eyes.

At last, at last
she began to pluck the feathers from her wings.
She ran here and there,
and said some ugly things to match my own.

And oh, too late I felt the songs she no longer sang,
the silence of her coarse-plucked skin,
the silence she ran in.
I saw the sad state of her once-gloried wings.
I saw in sorrow, and begged her answer "why?"

Her tears, I saw, were done,
so as she walked in deathly silences away
she turned at last in passing just to say,

"I need to fly".

- By Josh Barkey


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