A yellow bird fell out of my mouth

squealing and wet, chewed up

and you held it in your hands

like an apple seed.


“How’d that get in there”

you ask, back to the white

cinderblock of my dorm

stroking its damp feathers.


                                                                        Cooped up and stuffed

                                                                        for a long time that grief

                                                                        bird squabbles for attention

                                                                        nipping at vocal cords and

                                                                        stomach acid saunas it keeps

                                                                        begging to escape to


                                                                        tell its unraveled story

                                                                        and regurgitate food back

                                                                        up for its healing young

                                                                        still inside me.


It’s this time of year

again and hibernation

is done cold compresses

on stomach lining


vomit bucket yellow

this bird twitches in

your hand yet not even

the red clay of my


raw heart could

deter you


could make you want

to hop out the

window and go

dig a grave.



Maddie Baxter studied English and Creative Writing at Wake Forest University. She does not know how to ride a bike and probably never will. She currently lives and works as a copywriter in Charlotte, NC, and hopes to pursue an MFA in poetry in the coming years.

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