Birdseed

A stream of consciousness piece

I leave my heart open like a birdcage.
I am not trying to trap anything inside,
I am just tired of living in a world where
people who love each other don’t say
they love each other.

What is it like to not have a body? I want to ask the wind.
Does it hurt being everywhere at once?

My empathy is a drop of honey on the tongue –
it is sweet, but not enough to soothe a throat.
This world is so busy screaming its voice has gone hoarse
and I spend most of my time reading its lips

searching for the pain that is more than verbal.

My thoughts don’t fit neatly into my mind tonight,
or any night. If I take them and scatter them
like birdseed, will it lead you back to my door

which is open, by the way, swinging
and sighing on its hinges?

I don’t have the strength anymore to close it,
or to turn my back to those who knock.
I only want to hold each new face in my hands
and kiss its blushing cheeks, pink and soft
as a newborn child’s skin.

None of us asks to be born.
I imagine my not-yet hands pressing against the walls
of my mother’s womb
and falling through a trap-door into a world that is
not as warm as the human body.

I want to fall in love with someone with a heart like mine.
I want our hearts to speak through our ribcages to each other
and say, “My door is open. I will not close it as long as I live,”
because closing up is painful and wrong.

Ask the flower that, once open, can never retreat back into itself.
Ask the tree that can never take its roots back from the soil.

Like a pact, like a promise, give your heart away
and accept that it will not come back the same.

My fingers, once tangled in your hair,
will never be the same.

Tell yourself this is good, this is natural

and when you offer birdseed, open your palms
because you understand nothing can eat
from a clenched fist.

Why are you hesitant by the door
when it’s ajar

and why does a firefly in a jar
stay when there is no lid?

I have no answers, only this

door, open for the sake of
being open.

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24 thoughts on “Birdseed

  1. although its a stream of consciousness piece, the birdcage metaphor helps unify it. and it leads to some interesting connections, such as with the womb. my favorite lines:

    What is it like to not have a body? I want to ask the wind.
    Does it hurt being everywhere at once?

    i wish i could have written that!

    although it’s not part of your poem, the time that you posted it adds resonance.

    1. Thank you so much. I was surprised by each twisting and turning of my thoughts, but I trace them now and understand where each one came from. It’s therapeutic, sometimes, to get to know your own mind.

      And I’m glad my late-night posting adds resonance 🙂 Most of my poetry is born in the dead of night. It is when my head is fullest, full as the moon, and I must unpack.

  2. Fantastic! You should stream more often (but then, so should I) or at least you should share said streams more often. (Not that I should tell you what to do, of course).

    There are so many great lines here. I will have to return….

    (Do you know primrose? There are day and evening varieties that do indeed open and close by day or by night. We had some evening primrose once and used to love watching them open. It happens quite suddenly, really.)

    1. We really should stream more often! I think I’m often so worried about my poetry making sense that I limit my creative output. It felt good to shed those bonds and write from a place of pure feeling.

      I did not know that about primrose! Thanks for sharing. I love how it fits into the world of my poem.

      1. Do you use a Mac? If you do, you might check out an app called “Grandview”
        It’s a kind of distraction-free writing app but a little different. It only lets you see the word you are typing. Every time you hit the spacebar you go back to a blank white screen. I have found it immensely useful…..even if I’m not really using it much right now.
        But I’m going to.
        Soon.
        I swear.

Thoughts? I love those.

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