Spizella Arborea

America hasn’t killed all
of its birds yet but it will

A rejection of science has
lead to the failure of thermo-
dynamics in practice &
sparrows have been falling

at my feet like sputtering mud
stained engines. Charcoal
trying to burn under
water. I’ve been collecting

them in my bag & carrying
them around like chirping
ghosts feeding them bits
of my hands & my heart.

Whispering forbidden bird
songs to them. All the music
is owned & the sparrows can’t
afford to buy back their own

voices from iTunes. I’m
going to take them west
to the desert painted in
the colors of weathered

skin golden a tooth
& scarred by the wind &
persistence of living.
I take the birds one by

one from the bag & press
them against a mesa until
they turn into petroglyphs
so they can disappear the

way they were meant to
worn away by the wind
or boredom.

Originally published in Cathexis Northwest Press, 2019 Oct.

Christian Czaniecki is a teacher, poet, and generally good human (hopefully).