Joseph Bradshaw

Legs bent in that dark, clipped
wings winging outward to warm

my hand, no totem animal
smacks of comfort, comfort

smacks you on the back of the neck.

You enter the world
in plain view of the unaccountable

pierced among numbers
numbers repeal the wound of

the open sign

you. Or birds
blinded by the unspoken of you.

I address you
myself, myself as blind

blinder, blinded by—but so slow
slowly blinding the shock of

our shockless eyes. I

mangle the bird to make myself stronger.
I bind the legs to keep us together

in this dark that makes
the room seem so much bigger

an aviary bird never sings to the light.
Light would never spread itself through

a seeing creature, I eye
a hole in the imageless camera

you. All bird or you

without feathers to render your name
escapeless, a road leading to

you, a body all verb
walks in my footprints.

My footprints, they you.


1st, 2nd & bird. George Oppen, arms fraught & square. 4 sides to the frame.