collected in a shadow box by boastful head-injured dwarf gods.
They skitter, describing ceaseless circles
as the dwarf gods goad them to fly as they long to.
Storms are the tempers of the shadow box birds.
In August, old men dream of young women
and young women find themselves shriveled and standing on hard clay.
Everyone is given a shovel and a stethoscope
to listen for thalidomide demons in love with the shadow box birds.
Cicadas amplify the grinding of maddened demons.
In August, weather pattern doctors urge
tarot card mothers to sleep with bellies full of shadow box birds.
demon doulas with asters in their teeth
sicken gravity with odd fevers and the whole world sways.
Crickets are half birds in the ears of gods, still able to sing, ice pick righteous.
for Dverse Poetics "August" hosted by Sanaa Rizvi.