In the farm incubator, chicks squirmed inside
their porous shells. Everyone knew to watch,
willing weaker ones the strength to crack their walls.
If they broke only holes, not cracks, not splitting
their shells, they’d die later, even if we broke the egg
open with our hands—so we didn’t. Is this culling?
Orphan, refugee, opportunist, vascularity—
a brain, speaking to itself by electrical impulse—
living organism I cut to the ground as it spread
across the yard, killing trees with the dense shade
of its thirty-foot canes, hard as teeth—I tried
to kill you, and I’m still trying. When catbird chicks
hidden in your hair fell, I set the nest on a limb,
where cats found it. Is this putting runts in a bag
with a brick to drop in the river? Tell me, since
you know so much. As a child, I watched your son
catch lightning bugs every summer dusk, and with
a hard thumb smear their lights on a sidewalk, one
after the other, painting with bioluminescence
his reasons for living his own life.