by Jocelyn Sears

I’ll leave the lions
to you, the elephants with their tusks white
and chiseled as pieces of soap. Let me
be a swallow.

The tender armor
of feathers. A safety in smallness.
Air in my hollow bones like a second,
stronger skeleton.

And the dark
music box of my throat. My beak as a needle
sewing me to the underside of the sky.
I choose

to belong to myself.
I’m tired of being a child’s plaything—
backyard bird hung by the neck
on a piece of string.


Jocelyn Sears is a California native currently living in Charlottesville, Virginia, where she was a Poe/Faulkner Fellow with the MFA program at the University of Virginia. Her poetry has recently appeared or is forthcoming in PANK, CutBank, Bellingham Review, DIAGRAM, and The Collagist.

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