Uncaged by Esther Rohm

If you were raised, say,
in the bleak, airless core
of a cage too confined
for your bird bones to bloom –

if you were fed, say,
the same bean crust on clay
‘til your tongue numbed, gave up
its vestigial sense –

if you escaped, say,
to a tall-windowed house
streaming sunbeams and choked
with persimmons and plums –

each delicacy
would be ash in your mouth.
Nightly pressed into silks,
still your cheekbone would bruise

against the pressed earth.
From your uncoiled crouch,
you would see in vast beams
still the rust-flaking bars.

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Esther Rohm

Photo credit: Terri Malone

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