Flock Together

 

What an exotic bird you are;

to require mediation

to simply retain over six years

of priceless effort,

vibrant friendship

and proud showmanship –

to control something as boundless as intimacy,

requiring merit for a performance

free to all others.

;

What an exotic bird you’ve found in me,

having rivaling wings and weight,

hope and magical possibility,

but learning from

and loving

masters

who prune me

and know less of acceptance

than even I do.

;

Entirely yours,

you still pluck my feathers

with your beak

and reshape them to suit you –

fastened to a necklace,

printed to a blouse,

pinned to your hair.

You blow them away

dandelion seeds.

Still I grow

and grow beneath

your feet.

;

Together and apart,

we are not finches, robins,

cardinals.

They have no answers for birds like us

until we surrender,

break,

and sleep.

If that isn’t reality,

I’d be a fool to trade it.

;

You can take away our interactions.

You can start

over

elsewhere,

denying my pleas to understand why our time was unsatisfactory,

demanded cessation.

You can watch me wilt and flourish

from a distance,

celebrate, or resent

and sabotage.

You could ignore me.

;

But nothing

you can do

will make me stop loving you truly,

wholly,

unrefined.

Since the first time I told you,

until I burn up,

Everything I am

is yours.

And if

and when

you settle into some substitution for me

who will ooze with as many trivial shortcomings

as you’ve managed to assign me –

and just as often –

whether you bury the feeling

tolerate it

announce it and

receive consolation

or defiance

seek comfort in therapy

or friends

(subterfuge)

;

…who I am

what I will or won’t be

will bend into your heart and mind and hand

to you

a letter,

imprinted with

the image of an exotic bird

and the words

“He was there

he loves me,

and I clipped his wings.”

;

No ink will blot that out

except the ink we use

to write a different ending.

;

So this

this is your aviarium.

I don’t know when it hasn’t been.

But I know

as long as you exist,

you’ll remember this,

and no spite of mine

could make it worse or better.

Only priceless effort,

vibrant friendship,

proud showmanship

can make it anything more

than a distraction for you

until you burn up.