One was in love and carried a bird’s nest
in the cavity where his heart should’ve been found.
All have eggs growing in their lungs.
Some will hatch into birds that sing
from broken ribs. Some will hatch
into locusts that eat the body into remains.
In the square a thousand others remained
hypnotized by the sky where seven sundogs nested.
Three in white, three washed in the stain of hatched
eggs, and one real with tapering tails found
rushing toward collision like a song
swelling up from Tuburculose lungs.
One was in love and fell mid-lunge
into repose, forever toward, to remain
unrealized. One became a song.
Three built a well-pitched nest
out of One’s ribs. One would find
it romantic. Three sang to the hatchling
halos circling the sun. Hatch,
my sweet, said Another. My lungs
are tired of holding down. If I am found
at the end, let my hands remain
empty, One begged. Atop tower nest
the Faithful strike bells into song
hoping hope will blur the sky, singing
blues into indigo, indigo into violets that hatch
rainbows – both prism and prison – nestled
in the sky. Crack, crack, crack goes the red-eyed lung
as the eggs take the last remaining
breath as the body begins to founder.
One could not say he found
any of this romantic, apart from the singing.
Crack. Crack. Crack. Razor mouthed remainders,
faithful Plague Locusts, perihelion hatchlings
keen from an almighty lung
hallowed and hollowed like a nest.
The faithful find comfort in the nest
that sings, in lungs
that hatch and crack, crack, crack the remains.
Julia Beach Anderson is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. Her poetry has previously been published in Hayden’s Ferry Review, Mount Voices, and Keep Going, and has work forthcoming in I-70 Review. She lives in New England.