Bird perches in the strings of flesh
and sings of the dead.
What we all do.
Same day I heard the story about the boy.
Same day the weather changed,
dark clouds all along the ridge.
Where they found the boy. Not that
before I thought the world was good.
The bird perches on the blood-tinted stump
in the grass, what’s left.
Pinkish feathers of his chest.
What can we do but watch.
Knowing what we do.
The bird devoured all he could.
Lisa Allen Ortiz’s book Guide to the Exhibit was awarded the 2016 Perugia Press Prize. Her poems have also appeared Beloit Poetry Journal, Best New Poets 2013 and a few times in The Literary Review. She lives in Santa Cruz, California.