Before Serenity Park these birds
self-mutilated: featherpluck, bloodbeak,
broken. Through the compound
a veteran runs the damaged birds:
You’re flying! You’re flying!
Though this lorikeet will never fly again,
tangle of birdskin and buzzsaw,
it flaps as if complicit in the ruse.
A marine lines with battered birds
his wheelchair. The tank gunner
an expert on sunflower seeds given
from lips to curving beaks.
The parrots know who’s who and have
their favorites. One loves a sailor.