Blue Bird with Teeth for Toes
Their laughter reminds me of a crow’s cackle,
Raspy and mimicking, fake. A group
Of crows is called a murder, fitting
For the corpses causing their manic,
Mechanical giggles. They squawk and guffaw,
The manufacturers and mass polluters,
At the medallions hung loosely around their neck,
As dull and tarnished and ultimately boring as they are.
They puff up their chests and gloat, never
Bothering a glance at the inscription:
I Contributed to the Sixth Mass Extinction!
But who am I to judge? The neck snare
That clings to my own throat is the same
Participation award as theirs. I can’t deny
That I’ve passed windblown trash and turned a blind
Eye to it. I know that it will cause pain,
Four hundred fifty years to strike.
The soft intestines of a sea turtle, or
A straw will slip across leathery flesh, a surgeon’s scalpel
That will pick apart until nothing
Is left but a plasticy silhouette. I’m sure
Its shell will be used to make another medal.
The execution didn’t burst forth, didn’t make itself
Known like the ones before, it slid by. Sly and slick, it weaved
Onward, rewarding its hosts as it went. It coiled into our stomachs
And settled, pretending to be an unborn baby
Feeding off of its mother. It has made them hungry, so much
So that they are ignorant to the amount of carcasses piling up.
There is a Spix Macaw with wings frosty to the touch
And claws neatly plucked, leaving a hollowed-
Out crust of blood. Its eyes are open. I close them.
They don’t need to see my abuse, the actions I did to kill
Them. I think they would accept my apology, even for being blind
And clawless. The water trickling down the pipes and
Carbon that I exhale are all effects of my struggle
To live. I cannot forgive. I can’t forgive them, the industries.
I can’t forgive myself for living and breathing and caring
For myself. I’d rather cradle a lifeless, azure parrot, rip
My cuspids from my mouth and ease it into the small caves
Of dried blood stained to its feet. Would I be happier
If my skull were filled with twigs and straw, held a couple
Of eggs instead of a gooey, filthy brain? Offer up my chest
To punch holes through, my ears to scream and wail into
Until I’m deaf and ripped open? Could I waterboard myself
With gastric acids to help ease their hunger for revenge? I’d take
Its shattered beak in a heartbeat and trade it for my lips,
Thin and cracked as they are. This weary bird deserves to kiss another
More than I ever will. But would I be condemning it
To the same self-deprecating mindset if I were to suffer
In its place? I know that every time my lungs rise, I steal