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Corvid cannibalism, beak of a broken brother, blood

            stain the echoes of wings in the snow. Heels

on ice, packed thin from foot traffic. In the distance

            invisible chatter, skateboards on the wind,

the mountain wind. Grass yellow peaking out of whiteness

            like blonde stubble, the morning’s endless

shadowed growth. Suddenly I am painfully aware

            everyone carries bones within them, walking

skeletons crackling inside clothes of rancid sinew

            & ladder stitched skin. X-ray phantoms!

Spooky specters of our own inevitable! I recall

            my first funeral, the dull Bible plodding

through a child’s ears like a headache or an adult

            going on & on about stocks & stakes & golf.

Reminder: bird tongue upon rolled up beaded eye.

            Reminder: I carry my own death with me

less like a friend, more like a spare pencil or lip balm.

            Flesh I expose to feel good & feel fear

as a hollow boned, feathered, uncertain frolick.          

            Something that soothes the form.

Form in community with form, the colorful flocks

            of scarves & dyed hair & pride flag

painted shoes & skull tattoos. Blades of three toed

            judges, croaking their collective songs

as they hunt battered fries & fallen banana peppers

            or bathe in the fresh snow, rolling around

on the rooftops called home. When I’m called home

            I don’t go. When I need to go

to class, I watch birds eating each other, I witness

            the horrified students watching the birds

eating each other--some with mouths a little open,

            others with spider-eyed wariness & hunger,

everyone equal parts humbled & humiliated.

            After all, no one has stepped in to stop it.

The creature on the ground still gasping a little

            as panic siezes my sex: I know it’s those who fuck

& eat me might also want me dead. & when I return

            an hour later to the quad, the scene of the crime,

someone has wiped the mess from the snow

            as if that hungry betrayal made the body

relearn how to fly. Or maybe that after violence even

            evidence won’t let me be beautiful if this is how I die.