Birdcage Body


My fluttering canary heart
wants nothing more
than to spread her tired wings
and sing songs of melancholy

But alas,
my ribcage is a prison cell.
Rusty bars constrict each inhale
Every melody is constrained
by adipose-filled sandbags,
grimy and soiled with shame.

Dissonant songs reverberate
through walls of muscle
too thick to penetrate
Wallpaper skin like an afterthought
stretches too thin over dead weight.

My restless canary heart
wants to see the color of the sky.
To reach out her wings,
rustle her feathers, and fly

But every time she tries,
taut chains pull tight,
tethered by diaphragm wires,
and my canary heart is tired.

Tired of living
in the dark at all times
Tired of the skin
she must hide behind
She is tired of being alive.

My aching canary heart
is weighed down by a vessel
she did not agree to occupy.
But she does not want to die.

Instead, she waits and tries
to imagine what life could be like
if her flesh did not project the moth
but instead the butterfly.

One day, her battle cry
will be strong enough to break
brittle ribcage bars
and reveal the open sky.

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