Through the padlocked window, I watched a
cardinal cut through morning’s hot, dewy flesh.
His feathers crimson-soaked in sunrise. Each wing
a freshly sharpened blade. Each high-pitched pulse
of song loosening memory’s stitched wound. I saw my
mother’s face, and a past lover, and a dark comedy.
They all ended the same. I remember mourning, waking
to dawn-soaked bandages holding those feathers within
me. I lay curled under the sheets as you sat on the other
side of the bedrails, head in your hands, wondering how
such a soft, feathery thing could make the morning bleed.