The parrothawk’s wing
was folded against my chest,
though he would die,

and his chirrup song
beneath my chin
was everything love was supposed to be.

Something had crushed
his wings, tail — my mother
had stuffed him in a bag,

and when I ripped it open
to save him,
his blood left a stain.

Gently, I tried
to straighten his broken
length and laid him

across my heart
to warm him.
With one hand

I held him safe
for a short time,
and he tucked

his head into
my neck and made small
whirring sounds.

Warm, he curled against
me and sang, and, for those
moments, did not die.