The warbler’s folded in my tongue
like a lemon drop. What joy
it is to trap a festival inside,
until the bird exerts her yellowness,
scratches blood and lifts through
my bright opening.
Light shines through her white undersides,
across her simple face.
The yellow speck sings like a guillotine
above a crush of dark-eyed swallowing.
A bloody sorrow to kiss a bird
goodbye, these lips tripped up, glossed
in worship, loss, the taste of wasted star.
Art by Daniel Toby Gonzalez
Tara Bray is the author of MISTAKEN FOR SONG (Persea, 2009), her first collection of poetry and winner of the Lexi Rudnitsky First Book Prize. She earned an MFA from the University of Arkansas, where she held the Walton Fellowship in Creative Writing. Bray has published work in various publications, including Verse Daily, Shenandoah, Crab Orchard Review, and the Southern Review.