Quantum Theory
When a baby bird fell
from a branch hung

over our house
and shuffled into the open

slider door, I cupped
it in my little hands

and set it outside, hoping
it would push its wings

against the sky
the same way a child pushes

the ground to stand up.
I listened for hawks.

I told myself its mother found it
and thought nothing of the human

scent caught in its feathers,
a bird’s fear of humans

an urban myth, a story
I still recite to owls

at night when they ask
me who I am. I tell them

about the boy who cried
wolf. I tell them to listen

to the moon at full howl,
to rain collecting itself

between my clavicles, how
it drowns the little bacteria

living on my neck. When
one sense goes out,

the others heighten. I hear
better at night. I don’t answer

the owls’ question. I am
a self-aggrandizing dance.

What I mean to say is all
the things I don’t see

or choose not to see
may yet find a happy ending.

The baby bird buried
its mother before it died

of natural causes. It is survived
by many children who sing

songs from high branches
and power lines. My mother

always told me to keep a few
secrets. Hide them in the world.

I’ve palmed her pregnant belly
and thought: this is violence

I can appreciate. It kicked me.
It kicked me. I felt it grow so slightly. 
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