this bird as a pulse in the box
in my hands. the light breeze
a day of nothing in particular except this fallen—
the one the cat punctured or the one who tried
flying—no, he is too near featherless, too small
a pink throb all tendon and mouth
in the box held to my body shaking
until my mother gently lifts the box from me
its frame so slight on the cool tiled porch.
now, the eyedropper she lets me hold, filled with
something and held above to calm the tiny cry.
This is my first failure: the slow drop
placed in his open beak which will pour out his nostrils
and the cry slowing and the dark spot deep
in my belly slowly spreading