Bird Cage


Hector de Saint-Denys Garneau

I am a bird cage,

a cage of bone

containing a bird.

This bird is death which makes

his nest in my bone cage.

When nothing is happening,

one hears the fluttering of his wings,

and when one laughs loudly,

then suddenly stops laughing,

he can hear it call

like a little bell.

It's a bird held captive,

inevitable death in my bone cage.

Wouldn't he like to escape,

and is it you that would return

or is it me,

what is it that

it couldn't leave

after it's eaten away

my heart

the source of blood

with life inside—

It will always hold my soul in its beak.

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