by Elizabeth O'Neill

    Birds flutter inside my head
    Panicked, one escapes
    Through the opening
    of my mouth.

    A broken bird
    A feral cat
    Three hearts pound
    In bird crucifixion
    Feathers torn from his puckered flesh
    The bird blinks twice

    I once saw a man
    Pop the eyes from a fish
    Blinding it with the tip of his knife
    He turned and squinted and
    Spat in the ocean
    Then he set it free

    Shame flows through me in tiny waves
    It lifts and scatters me again and again
    Still, I am grateful he hasn't killed it
    Still, I know I am the fish

Copyright © 2022 by Red River Review. First Rights Reserved. All other rights revert to the authors.
No work may be reproduced or republished without the express written consent of the author.