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Sparrow

A shard of splintered glass still pricks my foot
since I passed underneath the window burst
by sparrow flight, as if the building put
itself into her path and wasn't first
on this old street--predates by eighty springs
my birth, her egg. But in her jealousy
of robins' breasts, of cardinal-bright wings,
she slit her throat on kitchen glaziery
and dyed down red. The tendrils of her blood
that traced the scratches in my iron sink
remain, despite my bleach, despite the flood
of soap and scrub. I've seen a sparrow shrink
from feathered warm to nonsense lines of brown,
and feel the glass in me that brought her down.



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