my chest is an aviary,
hundreds of caged birds
flutter and shudder and whistle
soft songs and incomprehensible words.
my ribs as bars,
and my heart as feed,
and the birds all hum,
and we all have needs,
including birds, including me,
digging my hands, into my chest,
they peck at me, my insides,
to rip me open, we try our bests--
i scream and writhe and cry and whine--
i tear and pull and carve and break--
they sing and sing and sing and sing--
half-gored, i give in, stop, shake--
an albatross in my chest cavity,
the canaries' screaming pitch remains,
the robins and bluejays and wrens and larks,
all choir my unending pain.
i want to be free of them,
and them, of me,
but my ribs are bars, and my heart is feed,
and in my chest they will always be.