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What The Birds Are Trying To Tell Me
by Amy Schmitz

I was one of those children from years ago

       moving aside my shirt to show my glimmer

let me think on the value I gave a boy

       to leave a mark as he moved his head at an angle

I let him dress in his mother’s necklaces

       caress my breast

       put him to bed

why each part of his body needed sleep

       each part

and I could leave him

I did not have to be good

I only had to turn my knees a certain way

       like the curve of a handle

       my body carapace

have birds forgiven me

       heal they tell me

a crack in the wall

       as fine as shorn hair

my body only a knuckle

       on a hand

       reaching for a shirt

       feels formal

       like an act of survival

today is more forgiving

let me rest

       which means they tell me



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