Stephen Jackson

Imperfect Birds

A sort of thin-skinned we get to be
when we are young and our crowns
still shine from the bright words
we spit into the not knowing.

Bones nearly visible through the flesh
we are dressed in, imperfect birds —
seedy-eyed and twiggy-haired,
our breath, little flamethrowers.

We set this world on edge, grow
into kings and queens of shame —
skin like that of a wrinkled rhino,
thinking we own every thing we own.

Blaming days and nights that come
to clip our wings, to tame our horn,
a sort of lost cause we’ve become —
thick-skinned, ignorant, numb.

Stephen Jackson is the originator of the Seattle small press So Many Birds publishing (SMBp). His poems have appeared in a variety of print and online publications, including The American Journal of Poetry, Door Is A Jar, Feral: A Journal of Poetry and Art, Hole In The Head Review, Impossible Archetype, One (Jacar Press), Stone of Madness Press, and on the International Human Rights Art Festival Publishes platform.