Birdsong

your name is the winged

hope who calls into

 

becoming   your voice

cracks   is bandaged with

 

whispers   quiltless

hatchling in her place

 

your mother    a heron

your father   the last

 

wasp she ate   the last

flight she made into

 

the setting sun   you

creature of exile   your

 

name a murmuration

to sing yourself into

 

existence   to pray in

sounds with weight 

 

to swallow consonants

to swallow forms

 

you meet yourself in the

shape of other mouths

Karthik Sethuraman is an Indian-American living in San Francisco. His works have appeared or are forthcoming in sPARKLE & bLINK, Quiet Lightning, Kestrel, and Hematopoiesis. Recently, he was part of Zyzzyva and Winter Tangerine poetry workshops. Along with English language poetry, he spends time reading and translating poems from the Tamil diaspora, feeding his kitten in the early mornings, and tending to the succulents he and his girlfriend share.

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