Jaime Warburton

The Summer Between Two Years

we sat on the Yonkers balcony overlooking a neighbor's fenced yard & stone-hemmed shrine to the Virgin Mary, smoked shared Camels (you know, grad school days before splurging on American Spirits) after practice plies, one-& -two, hands on kitchen counter, the loose-hipped duck walk of used-to-be-dancers having carried us through the hall with mugs of tea and an occasional pratfall, faux moustache, mimed elevator ride, timed to catch the other unaware: Lucy to Ethel, Laurel to Hardy, Gracie to George and Costello to Heeeyyyyy, Abb-ott: we sat on that balcony, metal-gridded base leaving S&M fishnet impressions in our calves, & from an invisible nest somewhere above, near-fetal birds kept falling, one every day or so, their translucent skin featherless windows to the small hot mass of just-pulsing organs, blue & purple & what had faded from red, tiny puckers in their skin suits like pores on my arms, no, neck: so slender, so nearly viable that there was nothing to do but lift bodies one by one over the cat's curious head & scoop them, paper towel-bound, into the trash.

Jaime Warburton (MFA, Sarah Lawrence College) lives in Ithaca, NY, where she teaches writing at Ithaca College and blogs for Ecorazzi. Her poetry, stories, and essays have recently appeared in or are forthcoming from journals such as Prick of the Spindle, The Southeast Review, Gargoyle, The Nervous Breakdown, Connotation Press, Storyscape, and Sweet. Jaime is also the author of the chapbook Note That They Cannot Live Happily (Split Oak Press, 2009). Keep up with her at jaimewarburton.weebly.com or on Twitter @JaimeSWarburton.