My temperature spikes untamed and alien, a wheel of sweat with each fevered reach at sleep. The bathroom beckons with its cold tiles. But I had forgotten your robe still nested on its hook, the talons of your broken comb.
A still life of lost intimacies.
I fill up the sink to float my hands, cracked and curled to claw with trembling. The glass block window permits a haze of shimmering half-light, offers a view of three eggs hatching in nearby branches. I arrange an altar on the shower ledge – slivers of pink soap, bobby pins, your hair pulled from the drain.
I worship for hours, all disarrayed devotion.
One fledgling falls from the nest and snaps me lucid, sends me outside to stoop and hoist the barely-feathered wreck back home. I have heard how mothers reject their offspring if handled by human hands, but I am no longer human. The mother bends to preen and feed it welcome.
This is something like a second chance, something like mercy on the animal I am.
Donna Vorreyer is the author of A House of Many Windows (Sundress Publications, 2013) as well as six chapbooks, most recently Encantado, a collaboration with artist Matt Kish (Red Bird Chapbooks). She is a poetry editor for Extract(s), and her second collection is forthcoming from Sundress Publications in 2016.