Spotlight: Birds Missing From Sky


Today you follow the holes
birds clawed into the sky

Each cloud a hatchling mouthed by a hawk

Today the sky burns its wings

Built out of a bird’s flight
your house will crawl far away from you
The trees, always eaten by birds,
will never fly

Go back to the house
Show me the trees that hate us,
and the birds who sleep there                                

Show me the house, why its birds are gone


The clouds broken across the sky

Once for each bed underground

Once for each bed that is now a bird


The birds tell you:
keep your burning quiet

The feathered airplanes torn with holes that sing

Your voice back from the trees

I don’t know where the birds live
How will 1 protect the birds
who’ve eaten the cold from the sky


Where the birds turn into night
you planted your feathers

Go to sleep so the sky can’t follow

Fall asleep counting the holes
the sparrows made of you

Make a song out of the seedlings you’ve lost

Each time you sing
the feathers lost the sky in your chest


Today the sky tracked you
until it ran out of clouds

I kept quiet in my burning
so the hawks could make the blue
go on for another mile
of kites that have not yet
devoured each other from their crags

The feathers weren’t ever a place to rest

You walked where the trees went missing

and found in the holes left of you
little black whispers
you scraped out of the sunlight

Why do the birds lose half of heaven
when they cry from the jaws
of the delivery drones

I don’t know where the sky is,
just that you’ve eaten the cold from the trees

Rob CookRob Cook lives in New York City’s East Village. He is the author of six collections, including Empire in the Shade of a Grass Blade, The Undermining of the Democratic Club, and Asking My Liver for Forgiveness. His work has appeared in Versal, Rhino, Caliban, Fence, Fifth Wednesday Journal, Thrice Fiction, Great Weather For Media, Small Portions, Arsenic Lobster, Space & Time, Osiris, Phantom Drift, Weirdbook, Up the Staircase Quarterly, The Birds We Piled Loosely, Posit, Zoland, Pear Noir!, Mudfish, Borderlands, and Tampa Review.



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