what it sounds like is a bird breaking small bones against glass. the least of them, a sparrow, of course. you’re about to serve dinner and this is the scene. blame the bird, the impertinent windows, try not to think of the inconvenience of blood splattering violet in the dusk. how can you eat after this? do not think of whom to blame when the least of us hurdles into the next moment. a pane opening into another. the least of us spoiling your meal.


the smell of it will be smoke and rank. you will mutter about this for days, the injustice of splatter on your window. foolish bird. civilization. house with the view. fucking bird feeder. it will take you a week, while the flesh starts to rot under thinning feathers, while the blood has congealed and stuck, for you to realize that no one is coming to take the body. it is your dead bird. it is your glass. you have options you think. hire out. move out. leave it for the bigger blacker birds.


you will taste rotting just above the top of your tongue. so much, that you check yourself to make sure that it is not you. the bird deserves something. you go to the closet, pick out a shoe box. discount? designer? you start to think of how it has come to this: pondering your mortality through a bird. a dead bird. never-mind. you don’t find it a problem not running into windows.


it is an eyesore and we start to gather as large billows in your yard. you marvel at us, beautiful, collecting and loosening our dark bodies from white sky to your grass. and then it comes. more bones and blood. one by one crashing into the closed pane. mindless birds. brown and gray feathers. filthy pests. another. fucking feeder. we look like billions lifting into flight and then—shatter.


you might find a delicate humility in the art of cleaning glass. while you work, you sustain tiny slivers of opened flesh. tips of your fingers sing. shards, carnage, it has become too much. you are careful to pick up all that you can see. you call a repairman. you are careful to pick up all that you can see. you throw everything into big shiny trash bags. you are careful to pick up all that you can see. you consider french doors. you are careful to pick up all that you can see and find more with each barefoot trip through your bloodbath house.


About This Poem

“I wrote this poem after discussions, both public and private, about the failures of empathy, which requires a sense of shared and mutual care, if not power. This is a conundrum for Black folks, for whom the declaration that our lives matter stirs controversy and unrest. Perhaps discomfort is the answer—not empathy, but outright and persistent discomfort—and I am unnerved by the cost of that to Black folks.”
Bettina Judd

Bettina Judd is the author of patient. (Black Lawrence Press, 2014), which engages the legacy of medical experimentation on Black women in the United States.

Source: Poets.org

Bunları da Sevebilirsiniz

For over ten years, Tara Books has worked with women artists from a variety of indigenous Indian art traditions. Many of these practices have their origins in the decorative designs that women create to beautify their homes. This kind of aesthetic activity is considered part of housework – but what about women artists who have …


July’s works are now live and can be found below and throughout the postings on the English homepage! As İlkyaz, we work to introduce three young writers every month. We translate these works, which are be made up of a short stories or poems, into English and endeavour to introduce them to readers outside of Turkey. …


        Eskiden şehir-i İstanbul’un arka mahallelerinin birinde, küçücük bir evde, o dönem benim gibi asgari ücretle çalışan birkaç arkadaşla beraber yaşıyorduk.         O zamanlar İstanbul, şimdikinden daha güzel, daha sevimli, daha güvenli ve daha nitelikli bir şehirdi. Bir taraftan hayat kavgası verirken bir taraftan da kendimizce bazı ideallerimizin peşinde koşardık. Kimimizin derdi aşk, kimimizin devrimdi;  kimimiz de ekmek derdindeydik. Kimseye zararımız dokunmazdı, sadece kendimize zararımız vardı. Öğrenci arkadaşlarımız da vardı üniversitede okuyan, bazılarını …

Önceki / Previous Büyüme Korkusu / Fear of Growing Up
Sonraki / Next Neden ve nasıl Tanpınar’ı yeniden keşfettik?