June 22, 2022 by The Citron Review
by Jared Povanda
The way the bird falls down the chimney, as if the chimney is a mouth, as if a mouth is a home, as if darkness can be a curiosity as bright as any sapphire, as if the sky is no longer blue enough for birds, as if pollution is driving them down, as if they gather piece after piece of yellow grass, green straw, broken twig, to place and mold and shape a depression on the eave of the house, above my bedroom, for the fun of it instead of survival, because whose survival is guaranteed in this world anyway, as if sleeping birds and sleeping humans dream the same dreams, as if my father lights a small fire to end the bird’s suffering, the one that falls down the chimney, the one that scratches tallies we’ll never see on the inside of the metal for hours, knocking soot into the wood stove, as if remnants are rain, as if fire is a flourishing, as if ash fertilizes, as if the way they say bees sleep when their carers douse their hives with smoke is the only way to sleep, as if mercy extinguishes itself in one critical moment, as if my father out on the porch with a broom to knock down the half-finished nest before the eggs are laid doesn’t remember the way his shoulders slumped as he placed one small log atop another before lighting the match.
Jared Povanda is a writer, poet, and freelance editor from upstate New York. His work has been published in Uncharted Magazine, Pidgeonholes, and Hobart, among numerous others. Find him @JaredPovanda, jaredpovandawriting.wordpress.com, and in the Poets & Writers Directory.