- 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 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.