Size / / /

Birds and Beasts rose
to the question of double
dominion: land and sky
a single kingdom, ruled
by the victor of war. The Bat
watched from her perch.

Angling their snouts at
the Bat, the Beasts
entreated her to ally with them.
Hid hirsute breast behind
her papery wings:

I am not
a Beast I
am a Bird

See this desire for flight
fulfilled; this taste for sweetness,
ache only fruit can sate

Later the Birds, bound
for the battlefield, paused
to recruit the Bat. Shielded
wings behind her furred body:

I am not a
Bird I am
a Beast

See these ears open
to echo; this mouth
open to appetite for
wildness, for meat

At the final moment,
Birds and Beasts reached
an agreement: bisected the earth
per natural divisions. The Birds
swam across sky; the Beasts
dangled from the grass; the Bat,
spurned by both, watched
from her perch, alone
with inverted purview.

Alleliah Nuguid is from Fremont, California.  She is currently an MFA Candidate in Poetry at Boston University. Her poems can be found in Permafrost, The New York Times Learning Blog, Poets 11, and, anonymously, in an unauthorized biography of a 2011 San Francisco mayoral candidate.
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