The tuner bird now nests,
now thrums,
in its cage of bone.
Plays harp of cat gut strings
by the red light
that dictates my resonant streams.
Sisyphean translator
at the first breath’s strum.
That sought to home
that homed to seek
from its first beat—
under the weight of words
and through that escape room of language
that forever unhomes.
Breath that strained to decipher
until it found translation in plumes
clearer than consonants.
That let me site my body there.
That allowed me into yours
the way that clouds might
straddle continents between oceans,
sip moon tides and stir the storms to tea.
That we might sip, and we sipped
and we shared above the undertow
beneath its wingspan.
And now the bird is full and fat
and red-breasted, bursting—
full of its own song—
soon the only hymn I’ll have to share,
between the bars of bone,
each porous easement;
the only pitch audible.
And the view from here is red
and veined and pulsing—quickened
by every foam-crested wave.
Each boat of my lungs shudders
when I am still—
the vast waters shimmer, shifting
just as they always did.
Now, a symphony of memory glows
wild, drowns me out, fastens me
to each red pulsing light.
I am wrapped in echo and echo,
can see with clarity, and must
hold the bird that sings to me
with gentle hands.
I whisper back soft benediction,
place to its beak a megaphone
projecting past where I could never
have gone, or stayed without
growing song.

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JENNIFER BRADPIECE was born and raised in the multifaceted muse, Los Angeles, where she still resides. She has interned at Beyond Baroque and remains active in the L.A. writing and art scene. Project collaborations with multi-media artists, far and near, feed her passion. Jennifer's poetry has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and published in various anthologies, journals, and online zines, including Redactions, The Common Ground Review, and The Bacopa Literary Review. She is the author of Lullabies for End Times (Moon Tide Press, 2020), and her first full length poetry collection, Ophelia on Acid, will be forthcoming later this year by Blue Horse Press.

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