My Nest Was Built With Little Bones
Jennifer Angelina Petro
My nest was built with little bones,
Shells, feathers, twigs, candy wrappers,
Shiny things, torn pages of catechisms, shabads,
And pornographic magazines,
It was made of moss and hair, abandoned ribbons,
Scraps of red bandannas, silken scarves,
Shopping lists, and spit.
For years I incubated beneath the hollow-boned lark,
Or was it a mockingbird?
My shell survived storms
And long stretches where only monsters,
Drunken owls, and sleepy seagulls smothered me
In the night. I learned to hide myself—
A nest within a nest—an egg within an egg;
I lived tucking parts of me away
I never wanted. Brooding memories
Filled the nest like bits of worms regurgitated,
And every now and again I caught a glimpse of a faraway blue sky.
When the egg hatched and the nest
Bloomed, I stared blindly into myself,
Wiggling stubs of wings I so wanted covered with feathers and flight.
Yet now, I live, I walk, a nest on legs, a human egg, a permanent fledgling—
Wings clipped, song raspy with rain and darkness,
And a road of eggshells spreading out before me wherever I go.