There are a million doves
in the channels of my heart
singing and fluttering,
digging into my atrium with their beaks,
some cooing in my wheezing lungs,
flooding my brain
with an endless Dies Irae.
Whispered prayers only fill my mouth with feathers,
holy ghosts and hallelujahs
turning instead into bloody warbling birdsong.

Grandmother Maria,
if only you could come to me,
shimmering gold spirit,
and tell me where I came from.
Tell me how to unlock my ribcage,
how to free the birds from within,
passed down through tempest bloodlines,
veins ringing with every church bell toll.
Where was this wild restlessness born,
where did a flock of birds come from
to eat me alive,
where did I learn to cry more tears
of blood than a virgin saint?
At whose bloodline altar
did I burn to become
the patron saint of panic?

I want to sing on my own,
no endless worry having me spit out feathers,
sing Magnificat with only peace
pumping through my ventricles,
my insides divine in their silence.

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