Bird Fight

Ayesha Raees


To birth was to lose speech
like how my mother    became a single macaw         crying at the silver balls
of hair  in a sky den

The only one standing upright
is the past        is a chained swing         is a burnt playground        is an

I am holding
flags   the really tiny ones    the ones with wired stems    the ones that
can be folded and wrapped          the ones that can be looped on handles
of spurting motorcycles       rickshaws     wrists

All butchered land was given birth
in the summer    from their English mothers   when the diggers
could no longer           dig the empty         or bear its burning

I can’t prove
without being proven wrong           this is not art           this is bleach
against skin

No one sees me
like a beautiful ten

I am calling my mother
after I fainted       in the shower        to ask her           of God’s will

The mother
is only a voice       without a body       fracturing in my ears
on the phone   over the Atlantic’s plastic seas

The dream
is always the same  twirls of sand        trains of rush        bare
feet running   and falling  to reach an end first         crowds of
women              draped in bird        flailing in wings     sliced
      going       caw caw caw          becoming half dead   half
alive    endangered herds