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Blue Bird with Teeth for Toes

Avem Polon

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.

Perhaps puncture

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

A breath.

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