if there was a sparrow, lying on the ground,
wings broken, mouth screeching as snow
blanketed it in a feeble attempt to hide the body,
would you crush it under the heel of your sneaker?
or would you leave it to suffocate under
the fierce white of the sky, an anger
you yourself feel when you realize
things in your life are out of your control?
or would you bring it to an animal hospital? would you allow
yourself to be praised? or would you place your guilt
on the top shelf of your closet, allow it to be found
only when you move out, in the same way
the corpse won’t be found until spring?
the soft smell of bourbon
lingered on my sweatshirt and i
don’t even drink the stuff. i miss you.
i want to lie with you, on the floor
with our shirts off, just us together.
i know you’re worried, but let
me kiss the side of you where you’re
a bluejay, frightened away by
the neighbourhood kids.
if i put it this way, do you get it? i’ll build
a birdhouse for you in my backyard
so you can come and go as you please.
Elizabeth Ann is a New England writer who spends a lot of time wondering why she didn’t bring a jacket, just in case.