Bird of Passage by Kelly Jones

Bird of Passage
Kelly Jones

At Whole Foods I ask for help finding supplements for skin health
and am led to collagen pills and creams.
I am not worried about wrinkles.

I am worried about the rash on my back, on my arms, and behind my knees.
It is spreading and doctors can’t reach a diagnosis.
They have me on steroids and antihistamines.
I am slathering my sores with cortisone cream, but still I am itchy.

It is past two in the morning and I am wired. Tonight a friend
messaged me to say they came upon the dictionary entry for
‘bird of passage.’ It has been nearly nine months
since I last moved. The new place is by railroad tracks.
The windows rattle a little each time a train goes by.
I am growing restless. I have work in the morning. I want to sleep.

My father, in another town with trains roaring through it,
will be waking up soon to begin his long day of work
laying the cement that makes the roads
I drive away from him on.

Kelly is a queer poet who is studying in the MLIS program, with dreams of being either a librarian or vagabond in the near-ish future.

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