Issue 14
This is Why I Do Not Invite You to Parties

You open your mouth and unload
a flock of tiny frightened cranes on me
in the middle of high tea, can’t control
the pour of them from your throat.

They’re swimming in spilled saucers, staining
their unruly feathers with each wing flap
and head toss. They are nesting in my hat,
chalking up the tablecloth with their shit.

The room is a river of flight, and still more
tumble into the air from your wagging tongue.
Their weather pattern is twisting the chandelier

out of the ceiling, all groans and wept dust.

My wallpaper is being shredded. It floats to the floor.
The ladies in attendance glare at me from under the table

where they huddle to avoid the pecking and brace

for the crash. I really can’t bring you anywhere.

The only comfort I take in watching you break
china in a fountain-birth of a thousand birds
is the way it drowns out even the possibility
of hearing you speak. How they trample your voice.