The birds told me everything. They still have another
song. The mockingbird sat on my shoulder to whisper
imitation, flattery, a good place to start. The crow didn’t
say anything, kept doing fast fly-bys, dropping gifts
without connection, fluttering flags, a saxophone, one
expensive sneaker, two red curls, three different kinds
of friendship. I fed them a nest of newborn spiders, served
in a lampshade dipped in dust and what if maybe
no/and yes/but. Their wings ruffled lace patterns
and one bird beaked his way into my bed, built
a bower, stole polished fingernails to assemble
like stained glass. He wouldn’t let me touch. The parrot
mimicked my hands, clicking keys to kill time until I told
him he was right and I would write and the cardinal winked,
already half asleep, warned me the blue jay is a word thief,
my story would never be safe. My story would never be
truer than a bird’s song, the inner map of one pigeon,
the intricate dance done for the other, the only, the one.
The flap of feathers rocked my mattress until
I rose again and words flew out of me.
Heather Truett is an MFA candidate and an autistic author. Her debut novel, KISS AND REPEAT, was released in 2021. She has published poetry and short fiction with Hawaii Pacific Review, Constellations, and others. Heather also serves on staff for The Pinch.