All his victims are women…
His obsession is women, he lives to hunt women.
But not one woman is hunting him—except me.
I can walk into a woman’s room
and know three times as much about her as a man would.
A starling catches me in a dress
and pierces my chest two times,
deeply, and I cannot blame her.
I was such an ugly bird.
She says that any bird raised as a boy
is conditioned as a boy and cannot ever
change that, and I don’t correct her.
If boyhood is a circle of boys above me
stomping purple flowers into me,
then I’ve known such a wondrous boyhood.
And if I say, I did not ask to be born a bird,
she wouldn’t hear me anyway.
There’s already a flock of them,
reducing my nest to sticks again.
And they will call me by a name,
but it won’t be mine.
Reilly D. Cox is an MFA candidate at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, where they served as design editor for Black Warrior Review. They attended Washington College and the Bucknell Seminar for Younger Poets. They have work available or forthcoming in Nat. Brut, Always Crashing, Juked, Cosmonauts Avenue, Rust + Moth, and elsewhere.