Size / / /

Content warning:



The word for our current collective is covey,
I think; we, even as two, are a grouping
of people, huddled in brambles of being before us—

Who? You may ask. Our call: Who-We, like
owls sounding like they are quite enjoying themselves.
Who-we: a you, a me, a you in past hopes,

a me in memory, a you of distance new when you
mention events I was not there for, now privy
to, the you of certain pasts, the me of now in your pasts.

That last I interact with like the boorish friend of a friend
at a party in my own house. The “plus one” of pasts.
We, plus me in the past. I search out collective nouns

for birds. We thought we might choose an altricial species.
Realigning, accepting avian instinct into our minds, lives,
is the why for scrimping on clothes and celebrations.

We collect enough for the elective surgery. Altricial, I think,
woodpeckers, herons, or owls, even. Whooo-whoo.
Our lives, but with the precision of birds.

We checked boxes for allopreening, allofeeding.
The online tests suggest Quaker Parrots. Collectively,
they are a prattle, a company, or a pandemonium.

There is no negotiation in a flock rising, no truisms, no advice,
such as never leave anger

between you, while you sleep. The company
literature offers no guarantee of shared purpose,
the technician joked something like that is
“the province of MMORPGs,” but this first morning, we are

cuddled in covers effortlessly and wake
in the same instance and rise into the morning
as one, and move into the kitchen for coffee,
ease into seats, and the coffeemaker’s timer’s work,
and we drink. There is a sound for this, that accompanies,
that means this, does not explain, means, and we will call it,
a catch in my throat, a knot, a gasp, wait, while I clear it, but you
do not wait or call and the coffee waits, and I will not speak,
words will be for work, for others. We will call, we will call, I gasp,
stretch my neck out

didyoudream didyoudream didyoudreamofme
didyoudream didyoudream didyoudreamofme



RMac Jones coedited the anthology Found Anew: Poetry and Prose Inspired by the South Caroliniana Library Digital Collections. His poems have appeared in NonBinary ReviewStar*LineUnlost JournalEye to the Telescope, and elsewhere.
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