Chris Young


I keep it caged, hung
from the ceiling
above eye level, at night
its head thrown backward
inside a wing, set
against a blade. Deep
in its own down,
transformed. Then dawn,
its utterings fall
like drops of water
that finally stream
against a surface.   I wake
open the cage door, watch
it wing past my blinking
eyes, listen to its papery flight
through the house and back
to my open hand. Over and over
I throw it to the air,
to the freedom of coming
and going until every place lies
outside where the heart slows
into rest, that place
that in the beginning seems strange
and distant as the cut flower
in the window stretched
toward the world,
that place that comes
to be favored as an orphan
comes to be favored
above blood.

Location: Eugene, Oregon
Publications: Stirring, Taint, Samsara Quarterly, The DMQ Review, MiPo, Avatar Review, etc.

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