Dove

 

Candace Osterhout, Vassar College '19


Light drowning

in heat and dust,

she reaches out

like she is accepting

communion wine,

cradling the birds in her hands.

 

The string is taut,

and the feathers

fell long before she arrived.

Buried in pulverized tile.

 

And even though

they are just birds—

skeletons of birds,

maggots of birds,

their splintered bones

like fallen kites—

she still

wraps one in a towel

as if to nurse it back to

               flight.