I discover my shadow over dead crows off a red dirt road
and tell myself to kill only my age in talons on tension wires,
pick teeth with beaks, weave an oily feather necklace, a gift
to a Texan woman as tall as telephone wire conductors.
BB bullets hit feathers as soft as whispers in ears,
as freely as step-parents exiting homes.
Crows die in sleep as aged Baptists hope and pray to die as they lived —
One crow for every year I grew into a murderer, certain
BBs would be the last thing they’d see fly before slipping
down light into my new shadow darkening useless wings.
No one’s said killing opens invisible doors to dead worlds.
After one kill, boys sway with the edge’s drop,
what falls off tongues as birds from skies:
There’s no beauty in the world if there’s no world,
only static shadows, a place for my dead.
Miracles of flight fall to gravity’s authority as a Saturday soldier
takes life down bent iron sights, pump-action modus operandi,
feathers clutter a garden of roadside berries, more rot than fruit,
In life, death holds nothing…
Death holds no life when it does arrive.
More bored than warped by remorse, BB grease,
plastic mechanics made me lick trigger fingers
after killing many but slaughtering only time.
Kicking red dirt clumps down the road
where human foot prints are mine among claw imprints,
shadows colored as feathers, carcass echoes —
The road most traveled has the most bodies.