ONE POEM — Matthew Moniz 

Various birds in flight, including eagles, a heron, a pigeon and ducks. Etching after F. Barlow. Wellcome Collection.

Hollow Bones

But Jesus never saved the birds. A bird
has never sinned. They have no need for grace,
salvation, guilt, contrition, holy words,
and make the choice instead to fill the space
above with soulless bodies, not with prayer
but song. They freely shout and never preach.
It’s twelve o’clock. The birds have never cared–
but humans do. It may be said of each,
He’s like a living god. He’s not a real
live person. You’re not real. You flash to ash.
Your bones hold soul holds fruit they tried to steal–
so know your lifelong debt, atone with cash,
and maybe you’ll remember everything–
your first breath damned you. Babies try to sing.

Matthew Moniz is a PhD student in poetry at the University of Southern Mississippi. Originally from the DC area, he holds an MFA from McNeese State University.

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