Untitled ll (If I Were A Bird)

I would hope

You would build me a nest

From twigs and leaves

If I were hatched the day

The forest regurgitated its sap

I would ask for you to kick me

Out but I'm not a bird

With a collapsible skeleton

I don't live in a nest why pretend

That it would work living in a tree

And living off its sap we evolved

Into non-birds

The brain more capacious

Arms crossing the air

Useless as wings

If I could I would take flight

Into an aerial battle with gods

As warriors re-making things

photo: Eleanor Bennett

Russian-American poet Stella Hayes is the author of the poetry collection One Strange Country (What Books Press), in which this poem appears. She grew up in an agricultural town outside of Kiev, Ukraine as well as in Los Angeles, and earned a creative writing degree at University of Southern California. Her work has appeared in Prelude, The Indianapolis Review, and Spillway, among others.