Like Robins Devouring
The trees behind fidget, and stretch their spines
with gnarled cracks and leafy expulsions. Eyes cast
below at Donny with the Sox sweater,
his tobacco spit sucked up roots,
latching to the waves of xylem tissue,
folding nicotine and phosphorus and
snuff and nitrate,
And I’d play in parks, down slides,
hit the ground floor, my body pitching forward,
clenching flowers and weeds, fingers so deep
the worms mate with my digits. I’d pull myself free
eventually, but the dirt cakes sweet under nails to
be sucked dry. Crumbles between the
now webbed hands. Crunching on splinters,
feasting on mutton of earth.
In the last days of living there,
my sister’s three-year-old best friend eats too.
He popped wood chips salty with rain down his throat
like greased frogs. For months they’d slide smooth to stomach,
classmates’ gleeful giggles filling suburban air like manicured lawns
and condescension until
Sideways it sticks, and
Her eyes gain a lens over them from then on,
like oil rainbows over muddy water.
I weep so loudly at the funeral my father
carries me out like antelope in lion’s jaws. Maybe it’s then and maybe it’s now, but I
stand by the side of highway, in the shadow of Charles River cherry blossoms,
and water the ground.
The robins come out early in the spring with worms drooping like moustaches between beak, but the boy
can’t laugh once the Massachusetts roots finally claim him in their teeth.
Andres Cordoba is a SUNY Purchase student with big dreams and small hands. His doctor said they’re not that small, but Andres knows better.