— Matthew Layne Glasgow

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.

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