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Autumn McClintock

Sadness With Sparrow Costume

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Funny little bird
pecking my neck and closed throat.
I call you lowdown,
call you by landline, outdoor
voice across the yard and field.

You have no wings or
flesh or crooked talon, not
here as you perch, not
the madhouse being you make
of me, the slow-eyed drooping

to turn an upturn of my
mouth and cheek to chirp
hello day, hello bright day
I greet you wide open and

ready to yes you.
Instead, your beak spreads wider
showing in full tongue
all you ask for, all of my
selfish funneled down inside

it. You swallow each
dit and cell, un-mind the frame.
Better to eat you
you say, chomping birdmouth,
tasting in full this girl-scar.

Dirt Bird

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Get you clean, Sparrow.
In the dust, flap and settle,
she shudders feathers

and pecks pebbles, seeks
breakfast from a thrown-off seed
pod. What can I take?

Food or dirt, Sparrow.
Hop and halt, hop and blunder.
Brightish sunlight stings.

No one knows my name
within my name where I’m called
totally other.

You, old world, gave me this one,
but it’s lonely-cold.

Say at least auburn,
heather, creamy-doused charcoal.
Say I’m worth colors.

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