by Leah Larwood

   after Charles Bukowski’s ‘Bluebird’

there’s a jackdaw in my head
she’s in charge of the dark matter

calls the shots from the back room
light bulb swinging above her desk

I hear her typing late at night
the quiet genius that stays behind.

now and then she pokes her beak
through the trapdoor of my day

while I fidget, sip weak coffee
she listens to stories in the room

collects novel faces, tiny voices
chatters voicemails in my dreams.

when we meet a friendly stranger
and I’m tangled or feeling coy

I toss her the attic key and say
sure, let’s see what you’ve got.

now she wants to stay out and
I’m like, what now jitterbug?

they can’t see too much of you.
but after a pisco sour too many

she slinks back out the small door
of my mouth. she’s not so sly.

as we glide into bed that night
I watch her skinny belly rise

softly stroke her flaky beak
slur, shh that’s right stay close

you can keep that key, for now.