Ex Ovo Omnia

In the waiting room, a photograph

on the magazine-tiled table: the skeletal remains

of a bird, delicate as needles, curled

over speckled rock. The beaked skull

scissored an angle of air, wing bones parted

in a pantomime of flight

where stubborn feathers still clung.

The obscene, bleach-white ribs

like an unhinged bracelet encircled

the pellets of plastic that had starved

the bursting animal dead.


After, instead of the gray-scale

ultrasound, alien as Jupiter’s striated shell,

the nurse at my side had searched, eyes pulled

edge to edge as if she were scanning a passage

for a seed-sized heart in contraction,


I remembered the heart-sized body rotting

in a blast pattern of feathers and bone

tracing tongue-want and stomach-need,

ardor and immolation—venom’s root

is love. A bearable hunger begins.



Maggie Queeney holds MFA in Creative Writing from Syracuse University. Her work has appeared most recently in the Southern Poetry Review, The Southeast Review, and Handsome.


One comment

  1. Pingback: Table of Contents, Issue 13 | Matter

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