Her hands flit about in my mouth,
landing tooth upon tooth,
sharp beaky instruments
scraping and picking tiny morsels –
she chirps to me as she works – how
her boys shot their BB guns
“If you shoot it, you eat it,” she told them,
which seems like as good a rule as any,
so when one of the boys rounded
the side of the garage,
hands cupping something in secret,
she marched them into the kitchen
and forced them to eat it –
it wasn’t good, she said.
My mouth was full of metal, so I did not ask, but
how do you even cook
a chickadee? Sauteed or boiled or roasted,
does the little breast
even make up one savory bite, do
the bones in the wings snap or bend,
does the song
caught in its throat taste like honey
or taste like
She floods my mouth with water,
mixing with the blood that is there. She
suctions it out with a wand.
“All set?” she asks.
the answer lodged in my throat
like a sob,
like a bird.