MJ Cunniff

White like no white, shell-white, smooth white,
Hamlet clutching a skull white, fluoxetine
20mg white, is the white of the raven’s eggs,

tucked on the roof of the neuroscience department, in a nest of
power cords and memory boards and bottle shards
and damp paper, blackened with mold and Best,s

–the cracking of old jawbones is in their cracking,
the crackling of white and clear feathers is in the cackling

of the forgotten-thing ravens that hatch,
water-clear ripples of snapping wings, grooming
their glossy cardboard pinions, preening and echo-

talking into streaked glass windows:

pretty bird, pretty bird, come and play,
not like me, not like pretty, come and pretty, come and bird like me.

MJ Cunniff is a sad gay wolf, a literature PhD student, a poetry editor at Strange Horizons, full of fae bullshit, and an enthusiastic proponent of bricolaging one’s author bios. You can find MJ in forests, cemeteries, queer bars, or on Twitter at @finishmywords.