I rise from the splintering husk of a blown shell,
slip through pockets of air, my wings sparking,
trailing smoke between crumpled tower blocks
and satellite dishes mouthing coded messages.
I tremble across the city, roll war’s blood and blast
around my parched throat, loosen globs of trauma.
My gassed lungs wheeze; I croak, breathe the salt
spray of your foreign shore, circle its comfort zone.
You recognise my voice, up the volume on your mp3
muffling the scrape of nails beneath fallen roofs,
dulling the cries of Rachel weeping for her children,
refusing to be comforted because they are no more.
I prey on your nerves, peck your empty hands, claw
for the gift of your heart beating and aching beside
my own. If I could remember how, I’d roost instead
on a treetop, enchant you at daybreak with my song.