* * *
guess it fell from the tree? or maybe it had a heart attack,
a sudden loss of its will to sing without an audience.
his electric callouses wish for flutters they can’t feel
on the bishop-red mohawk matted in the back
like a blood star backstroking through stale dew,
but the dew is two-day old coffee ground vomit
cemented to the back of malt-dyed incisors—i.e.
there’s no heartbeat humming like a Gibson string,
no wings flapping for rainwater, no beakborn
blessings pecking the dirt—so in secret he plops
the passerine’s fat little body in the Bellagio birdbath
for a rockstar’s last rites even though birds don’t know
when they’re in Vegas!—-jazz bass churning space
cardinals mate for life unlike rock bands
* * *
Jillian A. Fantin is an MFA candidate specializing in poetry at the University of Notre Dame. Their poetry focuses on explicating the bizarre with Baroque decadence, nourishing the autonomy of the marginalized, metaphorizing memory, and cramming people, moments, and pop culture together into casino-esque shenanigans. Jillian’s poetry, creative nonfiction, and research have been published in Jefferson County’s Broken Systems, Doll Hospital Journal, hoax! zine, and Wide Angle: A Journal of Literature and Film, and their poetry is forthcoming in Volume 10 of The American Journal of Poetry.