Supernumerary by Stephanie Valente.

she is petulant; partly,
of feathers, even after
the mourners come and go

stand on a man’s legs,
and bathe in the water
this is what they told her
in the backyard that day, full
of professional mourners
that come and go
they are thick, floating
on webbed legs,

and still, there is writhing
bergamot, rosemary, rose hips
set to lips, white-washed
to kiss her through netting,
clapped hands
but, to catch a bird,
that is the real feat.

Stephanie Valente lives in New York. One day, she would like to be a silent film star. Her work has appeared in or is forthcoming from dotdotdash, Nano Fiction, LIES/ISLE, and Uphook Press. She can be found at

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