by Jillian Weise


When the call came for me to join Bitto
behind the damn Falls, did I not challenge
the appointment, did I not appeal to
the High Courts & wait in the dark offices

of tree holes & check the box to describe
myself as too bird-brained? Did I not
beg to stay in the Arbolis with you?
Yet you have not returned to me. 

I know, I know I got beaked & fifed
Hesiod into your ear when all you
wanted to do was sleep & sometimes
all you wanted to do was pluck me

& that was, will always be, fine by me. 
If I quote the Greats too much, know it’s
because I’m afraid of you, yep, yep,
how you puff up your feathers, you know

how you do.  I’m talking out loud again
to the can of Brahma, Sage of Seven
Ages, Father of Creation: No one
worships you.  Be quiet, I’m talking to

Kate.  Also when you entreated me
to buy a machine, a machine to show us
what we look like when we’re looking at
a machine, I suffered the wages,

the set-up & download to find you,
wearing all your feathers, twittering
with 572 other finches, none of whom
concern what I have to say here:

I am the original plagiarist.
Yet you have not returned to me. 
Daily I withhold from one million
strangers, though they be willing,

I withhold the ability of my
cyber gender & this is a stupid
point I agree—No one wins for withholding. 
What else can I say?  I’m winging this. 

At least when we were speaking in our
deplorable way that was something,
that was some smutcaw we were given
unto, & seduced me you did in manners

unprecedented & if I sleep with
other finches, let us here reference
the words of the apostle Paul: “I hate
what I do.”  I don’t hate you. 

I don’t even not like you.  I’ve gone
over all the branches & can’t find you. 
Today the gauchos arrived & they want
me to ride on the brim of their sombreros

to the ranch & maybe I will find me there
a finch who reminds me of you & you
will have returned to me.


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