0. The Fool

I Have Faith in Birds
by A. Martine | June 13, 2020

I’m good at cooking apology meals:
people tend to falter before a feast
 it doesn’t do well to thrust rancour against grace
     doesn’t look good on the wearer of that sentiment

watching with knitted zest as they wrestle with
whatever compels them to be forgiving and gracious

Sometimes it takes a bit longer, so I think —
perhaps I should show them my scarred skin
 pretend I knifed myself slicing radishes into juliennes
 pretend I’ll endure anything for them with the proviso
     that I be forgiven for things past and yet to come
 never mind that there were two lies in those lines

Today I thought I’d make an omelette, and the lid of the
saltshaker tipped over and fell: a dull thud     salt like gentle spooling lace

I idle at the stove thinking about waste and opportunity
so good when it comes to the begging-that-is-not-begging
— start with making them think they are the ones at fault

I have never asked someone to stay, never asked someone to love me,
never begged not to be left alone — at least not in so many words
 I’d sooner warble to death: eggshells are eggshells
 maybe that’s why birds love me, and I love them (although they terrify)
 because we both know the value of weightlessness
 and keeping wind underfoot


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A. Martine (she/her) is a trilingual writer, musician, and artist of colour who goes where the waves take her. She might have been a kraken in a past life. She’s an Assistant Editor at Reckoning Press and a Managing Editor and Podcast Producer of The Nasiona. Her collection AT SEA was shortlisted for the 2019 Kingdoms in the Wild Poetry Prize. Some of her words can be found or are forthcoming in Berfrois, Déraciné, The Rumpus, Bright Wall/Dark Room, Metaphorosis, South Broadway Ghost Society, RIC Journal, Lamplight, TERSE. Journal, Gone Lawn, Truancy Mag, Crack the Spine, Confessionalist Zine, Ghost City Review, Rogue Agent, Boston Accent Lit, Porridge Magazine, Camwood Lit, Feminine Collective, and Anti-Heroin Chic.