Cardinal

In a bird cage made of bone,
my cardinal sings alone,
he watches the sun slowly set,
and the shadows blend to night.

I take him out in solitude,
that breakable bundle of crimson,
lighter than feathers and air,
he’s heavier than a ship’s anchor.

He’s afraid to soar and fly,
he’s even more afraid to die,
the kind of inevitability where the
dead is left to crawl alive.

Small beak, chirping thing,
trapped in a monotone tarpit,
my friend and my avian enemy,
he desperately tries to escape.

Through the mouth hole,
the creature attempts to blossom,
he longs to be one with the world,
he longs to be in someone’s world.

Where a nest made of hair is home,
an aroma of sleep in the trees,
my cardinal would never leave
and pass away in exultation.

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