Peter Burzynski

The Fearful United


You’ve been born

out of too much hugging

and happenstance. You

need to accept these facts,

accept the place you call

home:  halls filled with hungry


birds and flags perpetually

frozen, at half-mast.  A cavalcade

of crows attach corncob feet

to the awnings above doors.

You’ve been looking for windows,

but windows are portals for rapists


and raccoons. You’ve had enough

of both. The bitter twittering of hand

upon hand shows a careful eye

who you’ve been, what you’ve seen,

where you’ve failed: the pagan gods

won’t take your grain. A man broke


You held electricity as if it were

an infant’s neck.  Your sister helped

you scream.  You sat on a toilet seat

for weeks hoping the bathroom lock

wouldn’t break. It had no need.

Doors can’t seep.  You’re shrinking


as the sun grows thin.  He’ll be hiding

while you sleep.  You don’t trust

the moon, you see femininity as weak.

She’ll outlive your doubt, break your

glances upon beaks.  Birds have reptilian

zeal. You know they love to eat.


Birdsong comes crashing. Sleep it off

You know art is faltering. Your body

sweats knowing the distasteful

manner of its girth.  Breasts belong

to debutantes and daises, not to men

who bleat and build and weep.


Peter Burzynski’s poetry has appeared or is forthcoming from The Best American Poetry Blog, Thin Air, Prick of the Spindle, Working Stiff, Thrush Poetry Review, Your Impossible Voice, RHINO, and Forklift Ohio, amongst others.

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