“We’re the opposite of birds” by Julie Howd

"Radio Shadow" by Sylvia Yu / sylvia-yu.com/

We’re the opposite of birds,

We talk
In formation. The data is enough
To drag you down.
Do your eyes cast shadows?
When you step into the sun do you become
A radio? There’s one
Last ladder to climb, that’s it. Did you think
You were here to merely coexist with moss?
To eat and starve and lunge
At the moon? There is no such thing as.
When we woke up we were, and when we
Close our eyes again we collapse
Into a particle.
It isn’t even chemistry. Stretch your arms
All you’d like, you won’t hoist
Your way into a new dimension, to become
The tree, to become the universe
Of ants. We fold our napkins into &s.
Not sex, not the weather.
What do you think about this?
We are born in a hospital. We fly
North for the winter.

Julie Howd is the author of Talking from the Knees Up (dancing girl press, 2018). She holds an MFA from the University of Texas at Austin, and is the recipient of fellowships from the Juniper Summer Writing Institute and the James A. Michener Center. Her work can be found in Sixth Finch, Inter|rupture, Forklift, Ohio, and other journals.