We, the Birds

We’re sitting in pews
listening to the priest speak
when the water comes in.
I, on an island alone in a mostly
empty church, swirl my sock-and-shoed
feet in the rush as it rises until my legs
can float, suspended as they are in clean
water. We’re floating now, we in our
pews; me alone, you alone, the others in pairs,
swaying toward the ceiling, cradled by much
prayed-upon wood. When the arched branches
supporting the roof are close enough to tangle
in our hair, we transform, peel back our sickened
flesh and are born again as birds, panting
for air. The ocean never stops, churns relentlessly,
and we, full of flight, seep into the wood and are all shadow.

(Just something I thought of while waiting for mass to start a few weeks ago)


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