Delia Rainey

Bird of My Past

If I touch you but you do not wish to be touched,
I may feel ashamed. Bird of my past –
I imagine you with green feathers, cleaning them
with your beak like a toothpick or a personal dagger.
When the snake kills you, it turns into a story
or an oral tradition – the sweet myth, a bedtime song.
A snake kills its prey by strangling them.
It is also green and scalloped – both
the bird and the snake have red flags
on their body – the feathers
or the tongue slit down and tickling.
There are a lot of birds out right now.
Because it is very cold, they are leaving.
The snake was hungry, he is not anymore.
The bird of my past sits in his belly still breathing.
You can’t kill a bird, not really. Their bodies perish
but the next day, you see one flying –
you wonder if that is your bird. You convince
yourself that your bird has arrived.


This is the Last Poem

This is the last poem
I dreamed about
flowers picking up sand with the birds &
my hair becomes a body
my body in the desert,
a grief collector.
In the black dark,
the art is just a comment on itself.
& why aren’t we writing about ourselves?
The cactus appeared in my hand,
I couldn’t unsee it.
In my palm like where a prayer goes,
I lick the salt clean off.
The river passes on,
dreaming: “the art of losing’s
not too hard to master.” The stars
stick to the sky like thorns.
I will taste it for as long as I want.
Out goes the body once before,
vanishing into the perfect order:
desert girl, unresolved, lifting a match

Delia Rainey is a writer and musician based out of Columbia, Missouri and St. Louis. She studied English at The University of Missouri and has been published inBlacktop Passages, Cactus Heart, Lower Lip Zine, and the upcoming issue of Pleiades. Delia sells frozen sweets everyday at a local ice cream shop. You can follow her literary and artistic activities at

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