Tavye Neese

Nepotism in the Aviary
While Feeding the Amazon

We are leaden, wing turned ash.
Only for you millet sprouts from my fingers,

figs are your hooked bill gone crooked.
Our marrow is nickel. Above, the un-clipped glint

like citrine in waxen leaves. Their feathers
streaked with fire, what do they know of molting,

hollow bones gone brittle? Here, level with horizon,

the swaddle of cumulus is a lie.

What are we but pinfeathers
hiding from the weight of the sun?

Your voice streams in mimic,
spits like an un-oiled machine.

I need jungle from your throat
to forget stretched net. how we measure sky

by finite grids. Our pupils dilate into moons,
envy what is smooth—the ring-neck,

macaw, their streamers of tail, spectrum of plumage.

We cower from currents,
no longer intuit jet stream, or cling to distal branches.

Gravity lulls us with kernel at root.
We split husk, devour nut, engorged,

make no wing-gust.
Our mandibles crack in unison.

Your nub of tongue, mine,
reach and rotate like worms

as if the soil had already absorbed us,
as if the sky had let us fall.