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More poems by Robert PhillipsRobert Phillips | Print this page.Print | View and Write CommentsComments | Books by Robert PhillipsBooks by Robert Phillips

The Panic Bird

Robert Phillips

just flew inside my chest. Some
days it lights inside my brain,
but today it's in my bonehouse,
rattling ribs like a birdcage.

If I saw it coming, I'd fend it
off with machete or baseball bat.
Or grab its scrawny hackled neck,
wring it like a wet dishrag.

But it approaches from behind.
Too late I sense it at my back --
carrion, garbage, excrement.
Once inside me it preens, roosts,

vulture on a public utility pole.
Next it flaps, it cries, it glares,
it rages, it struts, it thrusts
its clacking beak into my liver,

my guts, my heart, rips off strips.
I fill with black blood, black bile.
This may last minutes or days.
Then it lifts sickle-shaped wings,

rises, is gone, leaving a residue --
foul breath, droppings, molted midnight
feathers. And life continues.
And then I'm prey to panic again.

Added: 1 Apr 2002 | Last Read: 23 Apr 2018 12:00 PM | Viewed: 4978 times

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URL: http://plagiarist.com/poetry/4321/ | Viewed on 23 April 2018.
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