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Poetry Spring 2021

Pinioning

by Jessica Femenias

Two little white parakeets evacuate from my sister’s fingers
and in their agitation they fly into the walls 
they are persistent little things — 
persistent in the flapping and their panic even after going splat 
and they search, frantically, for the loftiest, most remote corner of our living room 

Like the uneasy dance of a flame Kimberly’s eyes keep up with the parakeets, 
but her body is still 
she points her stony chin to them and waits 
and the little white parakeets keep searching for holes in the ceiling 
and she waits, watching still, with locked knees and dancing eyes and a stony chin

The little white parakeets have tiny little wooden feet
And after a while their feet search for something solid
One parakeet rests, 
The other follows, 
And something firm and silvery flashes in Kimberly’s hand 

A little bird’s head pops out from a space between her fingers
she extends its wing and it is tense
and in her other hand she extends the arms of a barber’s scissor 

I watch her barber’s scissor glide through flight feathers
The feathers disintegrate —
They fall to the floor like dust from a window sill —
and the bird is still

When they escape her hand the little white parakeets resume their flapping, 
they see the lofty corners but the keep fucking falling 
and after a while their eyes search desperately for holes in the floor 

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