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[to dream of a cardinal feeding…] 

to dream of a red-crested / cardinal inside some kind of henhouse.

Poetry | Poetry Tuesday, poetry
July 11, 2023

to dream of a cardinal feeding  

a shiny fish head resurfacing from the acidic peat.  

imagine an orange beak and a protrusible mouth, kissing.  

to dream of a red-crested  

cardinal inside some kind of henhouse.  

there’s a big fire.  

there is a matchbook in my hands. 

it is afternoon and thirsty as his hands wrestle her against the kitchen counter i remind him again that he knows her even as he shakes.  

her head and throat 
a ripe guava before it falls.

years later, when I’m no longer a child, i throw a hot cup at my lover’s feet. this is how
i learned not to beg then a jar of yellow carnations.

i’m told over and over that i must be crazy. it’s a week before what this country proclaims
independence day and our apartment windows wide to a season of wildfires, hillside oak
torched to pin cushions.

on the brown carpet, i succumb. remind myself i can love

but i’m told it’s hysteria.

to dream of snakes 

there is a box i want to seal them in 

their glossy corneas, dagger  

tongues shifting mettle

there is an open box i cannot seal 

i conjure a blade to ravage open a bigger container

Reprinted from nature felt but never apprehended (Noemi Press, 2023), with permission from the author and the press.