WHEN THE CROWS CAME, BY C.T. SALAZAR
I didn’t hate them. They needed to roost
and I needed a purple deep enough to con
-vince the neighborhood boys of my
skin’s milkiness. I don’t mind seeing
strands of my hair in their nests — pages
of scripture I’ve torn out, strips of silver
chocolate wrappers, stray threads
from old sweaters, they take it all, curious
gods. The young ones chirp. Every
morning my body’s outlined in feathers,
the whole bed dappled dark
as a beginning. I don’t know what to say
so I say thank you. The crows don’t know
what to say, so they don’t speak, they just
keep finding parts of me to make useful.
I thank them for that, too.
C.T. Salazar is a Latinx poet and librarian from Mississippi. His debut full-length collection, Headless John The Baptist Hitchhiking is forthcoming in 2022 from Acre Books. He’s the author of three chapbooks, most recently American Cavewall Sonnets from Bull City Press (2021). He’s the 2020 recipient of the Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters award in poetry. His poems have most recently appeared in The Rumpus, The Cincinnati Review, Beloit Poetry Journal, and RHINO.