SCAVENGERS
by Courtney Putnam


It’s another dark morning, the sky
a mouthful of saliva spitting. I spy a crow
flipping a drenched hamburger wrapper
to reveal its silver-lined underbelly.
I watch his black body against the glint of foil,
notice how he picks at it with his beak.

He cannot leave it behind, scavengers
as crows are, pawnshop owners of the bird world,
collectors of coins, keys, scraps of glass and foil—
shiny objects made of light.

I hoard mirrors, sun lamps, shiny stones,
gold-threaded scarves and colored glass
that reverberates light. These things are not enough.
If I could capture light—the kind that warms
my bones—I would rub it into my skin. I would lace
each eye with it. I would place it in my beak
and crush it till it bursts.



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Courtney Putnam earned an M.F.A. in creative writing from Antioch University Los Angeles. Her poetry has appeared in such journals as Phoebe: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Feminist Scholarship, 4th Street, Moon Journal, and in the anthology Inhabiting the Body from Moon Journal Press. She is a visual artist, poet, and Reiki practitioner living in Seattle.