Tavye Neese

Midnight in the Aviary

My solace, their shudder
of wing, grinding hooked beaks
while there is pin-light for flight or preen.

White down falls as shadows of snow.
Tail feathers, once fire,
hang as smoke and I cool.

Jungle voices are kept in throat—
their quiet lullaby, subtle shift
of feather, talons gripping perch,

darkness my tether.