Benjamin Stillerman

Aviculturist

 

It is no fault of your own,

the sister species’ near-perfect

 

mimicry of your temporary

shelter. A shift and dispersal

 

of adoption and the total

you are reduced to.

 

       °  °  °

 

do not name me

   what was issued

by neglect

 

   do not mention

the abandonment

    attending my

hungry arrival

 

   speak instead

of escaping

   predation

and the sky

   I will make

of survival

Extant

 

Stray hatch, though

   not an obviously

predacious posture,

 

   still your extinction

risk when I warmed

    you and witness

 

when I fell below

    a density of kin and

became targeted,

 

    not knowing where

to end my clutch

    or begin my species.

 

No, you are not kin,

    arresting to me like

an attraction to light,

 

    like the slowgrowth

you’ve stalled

    and gathered for

 

my staying drive.

    I fly only

because I am what’s left.

Benjamin Stillerman is an editor and co-founder of the collage journal ctrl + v, a 2019 UnionDocs fellow, and a PhD candidate at New York University. He co-produced the short film “The Mole” for the Visible Poetry Project. His poetry has appeared in Virga Magazine and is forthcoming in Salamander Magazine. He lives in Queens.

 

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