You were everyone’s mama robin, cracking
a warm egg over the fledglings in the neighborhood.
I could not move without brushing against the wings
of your adopted flock,
even as I squawked for the nest to empty.
After all, shouldn’t blood paint your red breast
without the stretch of hungry necks?
This maternal clutching, this
communal roosting, is how I found myself
sniped and unfeathered,
watching mama robin cooing and mama robin chirring
and mama robin loving all the birds.
* * *
If you’ve ever seen swans fuck,
you’d know it’s
a folded napkin in a dither,
while a second lays flat, soiled,
praying for dinner to end.
The male tops the female
in a freshwater body.
She must float them both.
She is submerged, beak beneath
the ripples, lost to the jaw
around her noose-length neck.
The deed lasts ten seconds.
After, he glides to the edge of the
pond, distancing himself from her,
while she honks, reaching back,
trying also to rid herself of him.
Zeus appeared to Leda
as a swan, then raped her.
Lannie Stabile (she/her), a queer Detroiter, often says while some write like a turtleneck sweater, she writes like a Hawaiian shirt. A finalist for the 2019/2020 Glass Chapbook Series and semifinalist for the Button Poetry 2018 Chapbook Contest, she is usually working on new chapbook ideas, or, when desperate, on her neglected YA novel. Works are published/forthcoming in Pidgeonholes, Glass Poetry, 8 Poems, Okay Donkey, Honey & Lime, and more. Lannie currently holds the position of Managing Editor at Barren Magazine and is a member of the MMPR Collective. She was thrice nominated for Best of the Net 2019. Twitter handle: @LannieStabile