By George Bilgere

On the bricks of the patio
A sparrow is struggling with a used tampon
It half-flew, half-dragged here
From a dumpster across the street.

The tampon resembles a wounded rat.
Those of us enjoying our coffee
And New York Times in the spring morning
Pretend to ignore it.

But all the suns in all the galaxies,
And all the planets around our own paltry star,
Are turning on the same invisible pulleys
That drive the sparrow
To build a cozy little crib
In the eaves under somebody’s gutters,

And to find, sooner the better,
Another sparrow who hears
The same music of the spheres.

You can’t argue with that.

And though some of us on the patio might believe
That what the sparrow is wrestling with
Is the blight man was born for,
The curse Adam fell for,

For the bird
It’s an engineering problem: the tampon’s
Too stubbornly stitched together
For a tiny beak to tear apart,

And too heavy
With human blood to carry off
Into the blue air of the future.

George Bilgere’s most recent book, Haywire, won the May Swenson Poetry Award in 2006. His work has recently appeared in FIELD, Ploughshares, River Styx, and New York Quarterly.

Originally appeared in NOR 5

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