The spit-polish grackles and the blackbirds with their bright razors
tucked in each wing, and the purple finch
a nuthatch-tuft nosing above the crammed yard—whirling dazedly,
near-sated, in full arcs around
the thin, pecked perch—the house wrens
gobbling seed, the slivered, empty shells rising
to hills of spackled dust.
They got fatter and fatter and more indiscriminate, drinking
water from the banged-out garbage lid, beaking
the house and its rusted gutter for loose shingle-grit—
chittering, vomiting husk.
Crows became suet-begotten bags on wings.
Bloat-plumaged sparrows lost their litheness. Lusterless sleeks pumping
dully in circles. What miracle or horror propelled them to veer back?
Their small bird-bellies aching as though empty
even after they'd had their fill, even after
their wings rammed
brutally into one another
until their little green tower of seeds cracked, fell, hemorrhaging
my heart of squirrel, flooding out my eye of rabbit.