Jenny MacBain-Stephens

Bird Poem #1

poorly illustrated legs/ no passion filled gallop/ lacking blood lust / ingest weight, repeat /dreaming of
index fingers / acquiesce: a torso/ bird brain glass smash/ no forehead to inspect/ no fingertips to
soothe / cat egos placate / survival of the fastest/ fly away feathers/ flutter in the bath/ pretend it’s a
game / I can shoot you full of buckshot /no safe house too small.

Bird Poem #2

Icterus Baltimore Aquus Marinus
For the artist (unknown) outside the Museum of Found American Art

Cement invaded a tiny mold
beak, wings, feet.
mirrored glass pieces
encased refraction forever
or the weather wins

A Technicolor environmentalist’s
vision in sharp shards.

In your torso, my eyes radiate chartreuse
My chin lavender,
My parka disintegrates into
diamond suns.

Now I have wings

I soar into pieces
The dirt, formidable
The ice, suffocating

No longer encased in stone
I swallow the wind.

Bird Poem #3

I dropped him off at the train station.
He sat amongst goldfish crumbs.
He drank an energy drink.
Only berries for breakfast
like the chipmunk
I saw run through the flower bed,
costumed in the structure of a man.
I dropped him off on the sidewalk.
He lugged a backpack.
The wind blew.
The rain poured.
Why don’t you eat anymore?
I couldn’t ask.
I wanted a smile and a “next time…”
I dropped him off at the train station.


Bird Poem #4

Ticks removed: two
No, three
one discovered the next day
on a hip

bluebells unbloomed all week
Leafy, convoluted brain stems
Muck splattered shoes
Stomped hay grass

Blue birds never showed
Empty little wood boxes
Listen for the call
Muster up a sh sh sh sh sh

Sounds like she she she
Come to me me me
How successful was my bird call?
Blue birds almost went extinct in VA

The dominant sparrows
cleared out the nests
Bird bullies
Some humans trapped and killed the sparrows

Doesn’t that make them a bully?
No, murderer.
I want something perched on my shoulder
Then I will be satisfied

Untouchable, like a memory
You never will of course
Just a hint of turquoise in the forest
Always struggling to build a home

Always the renter
Me, deluded

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