by Libby Hart

In the small hours
I can hear those rare birds
knuckled to the mother tongue of music.

Each beaten concerto-wing trilling,
a flurried kin tethered by aftertaste.

Their mimicry unloops the knot of me
until I am no longer a begging-bowl,
no longer exhaustion as a second skin.

When I try to put a name
to this innermost heart-stitch

I wake to exile,
to its wingspan of silence
drum-tight inside my ears.

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