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Dodo in jungle

Lilly’s Bird Bingo

By Alan Michael Parker

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No,
you are
 
The egg Lilly
had to carry
for Health
Class last year
 
When Sophia
laughed Dr.
Pepper out her
nose
What’s the
bird the other
birds hate?
Bird school,
bird parents,
bird boys, bird
hair, bird hips
Shit on
Dad’s bike
helmet
When Lilly
and Sophia
got high and
made Tweet
jokes and
flapped their
arms
11th grade’s a
prison
Owl
silhouette on
the sliding
glass door
The dead bird
Lilly kept
in the
Forever 21
shopping bag
Sophia won’t
get the dodo
tattoo too
Lilly wants
hollow bones
 
Love, love,

the flock and
swoop at dusk
above the
strip mall
 
What’s it
called if you
don’t eat
birds?
Horny-thol-
ogy, hahaha
 
Is it better to
have been a
bird in a
previous life…
 
It’s just a
thing, so
shut-up
Shocker:
birds smell
What’s
Sophia’s
problem?
Dreams
are birds
 
At Lew’s
party, Lilly
Sharpies
feathers on
her arms
 
Pecking
=
boring
Sophie’s beady
bird eyes
when she’s mad
… or to be a
bird in the
next life?
Hand-drawn bird

 

 

 

Alan Michael ParkerAlan Michael Parker is the author of four novels and eight books of poetry. His awards include the Balch Prize, the Fineline Prize, the Medwick Award, the NC Book Award, three Pushcart Prizes, and two inclusions in Best American Poetry. In 2021, he judged the National Book Award in Fiction; he’s currently judging the PEN/Faulkner Award in Fiction. He holds the Houchens Chair in English at Davidson College.

Header photo by COULANGES, courtesy Shutterstock.

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