Sparrow (3rd draft)

As I have not released any new material in the last few days I’ve decided to post a third draft of one of my favourite pieces. For what I hope is your reading pleasure, “sparrow”


Ever since I was little there was
about broken things that made me
want to fix them,
about knots that made me
want to undo them

I followed the narrative
of your skin,
there was a caged bird on your left
forearm, your sternum armored
by black ink under dermis,
protected by
the occasional swipe of a left hand

If I touched your tattooed knuckles
would you curl them at me?
Would you unfurl your fingers, grab
the dagger inked on your body,
peel skin back to let sparrows free?

I wanted to be the cigarette in your
mouth, and fill your body with
something other than smoke

To grab your shaking fists
point them downfield
from our door stoop
through the fog of war,
and command you to fight,

I could tell you choke when
you cry, I should have told you those
are smouldering doves in your stomach
trying to fly out

Sobs are pianos hauled
up your throat spiral staircase,
waiting to be lodged
into vocal chords, to be
pounded, torn out,
set afire, dragged down
the avenue by their strings

I should have put a blanket over
your shoulders,
pulled your head into the nook of
my forearms, bent them tight
like I had just sent you home
tucked into the space under your
father’s chin,
to the roundness of your mother’s
belly before you tore
screaming into this world

I should have told you, sometimes
the difference between light and dark
is only a light switch away

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