Poetry / Poets / Print Edition / Writers / Writing

Living with Songbirds by James H. Duncan

despite four beers left in the fridge
I’m here with a glass of cranberry juice
they joke that it’s my time of the month

they sound like birds singing when they
talk to each other, the words becoming
an indefinable song the longer I listen

but it’s not terrible and I’ve always preferred
the sound of birds to the sound of elevator
doors closing or waiting room music
the flicking back and forth of stale
magazine pages—no, I’ll take the birds
and their feminine, sometimes indecipherable
warbling through the branches of my evening

there are so many worse things in this world
so many knives sliding between ribs
and raised voices and sweat stained with hate
and motorcars and asphalt and tire chains

and so I take what I have tonight
me here with cranberry juice, a fridge with
some beer left, and a notion that tomorrow
or the next decade might bring the end of the
songbirds singing, any time now, but I hope
not too soon

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One thought on “Living with Songbirds by James H. Duncan

  1. James H Duncan resides in New York City and is the founding editor of Hobo Camp Review, a literary press dedicated to the traveling word. His poetry and short stories have found homes in numerous publications, including Pulp Modern, Apt, Red Fez, and Gutter Eloquence Magazine. His collection of short fiction, The Cards We Keep, is due in mid-2013. More at http://jameshduncan.blogspot.com.

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