by on April 13, 2024 :: 0 comments

for little brother

Spent shotgun shells under a telecom tower of vultures.
Little brother climbs to see homegrown nowhere next door
as blood collects itself for another next life in an open cage.
Vultures vomit reminders of one last life—

a dream of death I had.

Beginning of imagination comes as grace in all colors
on asphalt black accounting for dead leaves from blue sky.
Prettier birds die to describe clouds as kin of crows
come home to watch over holy highway dead.

We brothers don’t know doves except for the season when they die.
Wings smuggle in dreams after we stack fence rocks
to keep out what crawls in the country.
Latch screen doors when night eyes reflect moonlight.

God blinks out sawdust on the breeze as the sky of others hits ours.
Birds get inside to waste lives in crooked frames of family photos
after eating shopping center cigarettes, shitting on Corvettes, EVs,
and children alike, all’re under an ax’s shadow.

Grackles argue with pecans but blow in looking for housing.
Hummingbird bones hit window units and die outside.
We just coast channels so there’s never a moment
not on laugh tracks concerned with honest living.

As if we ever talk about dishonest death,
love between brothers looks to the same direction.
Chevron neon pricing dinosaurs hold congregation
on one side of conflict while birds escape the skies to stuff

feathers into flat pillows. Carrier pigeons share our address.
We have the best trash. And they know everything is permitted.
Dogs play poker in paint as nature moves into a forever home,
off-white bird shit on walls with family eyes scratched through

like stab-signed divorce papers under baby photos.
Alarm clock wires are silent as worms in walls,
not even the house is wired with good veins.
The bones are us, broken from moving in.

Close your eyes and you won’t see parents change faces
when lying that you’re no burden. No bother at all!
Just enlist in wars in cities away from vulture towers
and all the deer buck horns grown from wall studs.

Only between brothers are conversations with birds
worth having when quiet lingers on gold heatwaves
as the past is a buzzard blowing the future a kiss
in shadows but choosing which shapes to shade.

A death pact has flown down as bones pile up.
Little brother’s bedroom sees caregiving
feathers rising/falling with his young breathing
in the first dream of death in our family aviary.

Nothing exotic, just what we’ve seen fly with our eyes.
Red cardinals, finch, airborne wild bores hit by headlights—
all’ve lived to die across the sky.
That can be your family as a dream song starts with one dove

dead to air as a hunter’s pellets anchor its light body.
12-guage shotshell nestles in the neck, but it’s inside
carrying a heavy message for little brother: here is my only body.
Elsewhere is only a flight, but it could take your wings.

So here are mine: my last song.

Sparrow shadows, cowbird shit, song thrush blackbirds,
all’s got god in on dreams past communication towers
where wind swallows each name as one before vultures
dig into soft eyes, ribs, loved hearts, all life’s leftovers.

Treasuring vomit: dead death is delicious
the longer it rests. Each bird covering little brother
doesn’t carry enough meat on bones to consider a half a meal.
But the birdcage is beautiful because we’re all here, a reunion.

Ravens and meadowlark, not a single swan,
full of air, war-screaming words of war.
No call to arms in a coat of feathers. Even teeth sleep
through a visit from vultures to tell this is the worst of times—

a dream of death I had

And what is skin when we’re all one,
and soon, all bones will all shine
when our roof collapses and hungry birds
take in pieces those who never wished for flight.

editors note:

Proof of life, this life; it’s for the birds. – mh clay

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