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.

 

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