By sam sax
feygele is yiddish for the way i walk into a room.
feygele, the anglicized spelling of angel
fallen into the dark earthen pits of fashion.
feygele from the german vögelein meaning “little bird.”
little bird, where do you flame from?
where do you bird from little german flame?
little singlet split for entry. little finger slipped
into the mouth staring hard across the bare wet bar.
little bear in his arrogant leather harness, his broad
american faith. carry me with you across the fleshless
threshold how an old woman carries her language
across an ocean so vast, so many fathoms deep
one might imagine all life springing from the wet
slit of its shoreline. sure i’ve memorized every word
for faggot & nearly all their origins are plural & bound
together with twine. little string corset wrapped
around my brothers’ thighs. little horses wild
at the bit to be ridden. little films where the animals
are let out but only at night. sure i’ve eaten directly
from the hand of a man who taught me the simplest
words, gestures of thirst & begging. sure i was hatched
into a world that expected me to fly straight into power-
lines. but see how hideous hearse-shined my feathers,
see my wings spread like a dead book of legs,
see my brutal beak a seed-thief in the club light.
my first name was flame & i drew moths & mouths alike.
feygele as in son of the first preacher with gills. as in
the flood that began & refused to quench. as in when
i was a child i killed a bird, sparrow i think, with my bare
hands so it wouldn’t go on suffering — it was sick.
give me your hands, hold my skull between them
how you’d hold a bag writhing with birds, a pillowcase
thick with lights, two grown boys in gowns howling,
a cold mud village consumed by flames, a cage door
opening, a blade, a blade, ablaze.