by Canese Jarboe
You left a feather, oily and black — the size of a finger bone, against the cracked lichen. You devoured the lean body of a snake. Glossed green scales tough against your beak. Once, you perched on the heart-pink cedar of a windowsill and the girl inside swore she felt your tiny claw pierce her heart. Alone, you warned sons to kneel beside feverish beds, wives to follow freshly kerosene-dipped wicks into the forest to search for their husbands. But when you fly with her, your mate for life with her wide white belly, you don't carry death. You make the couple on the porch swing kiss harder — you make the people under each glittering shingle roof make love longer.
Canese Jarboe is a senior studying Creative Writing at Pittsburg State University in Pittsburg, Kansas.
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