The Cuban Bee Bird
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The Cuban Bee Bird

Left alone & cuffed, my heartnever stopped

beating in its white cage, not once,& so I’ll hop back into the rain

to wash clean the detritusof my mind in order to show you—

See? I’ll say. My heart’s stillbeating! I’ll imagine it’s night,

you’re back from your studioof termites where you measure

canvas & draw tiny humming-birds that you pin

onto the walls like a schematicfor the garden we can’t find

time to plant. It’ll be dark,& I’ll emerge from the shower

all glistening like a porn starbut the body is mine, [End Page 22]

so an imperfect gesture, & I’ll pullyour hand to my chest to say,

No, not my nipple, beneath it,my heart. & you’ll start to smile

at its wildness, its formless jubilancewhere we’d once felt marbles

exhumed. My heart’s a tireless factoryworker. It never stops beating.

It’s the world’s smallest bird,the Bee Hummingbird: iridescent,

fire-throated, a flyer’s flyer.Zunzuncito in Cuba, its home,

a name miming the sound of itself,its long black sucking beak

plowing the ears of flowers—My heart never stopped beating here

in my own house, the only thingin the world I’ve bought on my own.

In this old pine house strainedwith the beating of wings, I’ll tell you:

it’s your heart too, an asylumfor the only thing in the world

that we all share, an organ perfectlybound to its own naming. [End Page 23]

Alexis Orgera

Alexis Orgera is the author of the books How Like Foreign Objects and Dust Jacket (forthcoming) along with three chapbooks. She lives in southwest Florida, where she is at work on essays about Alzheimer’s, migraines, hallucinations, and visions.

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