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Julian’s Birdcage, by Caitlin Johnstone

Because no one else would,
a white crane sits in a cage
in a sprawling city
passing messages to pigeons.

Because no one else would,
a dreamguide sits shackled for letting in light
and the world lines up to spit in his face
while heads inside screens bark and snarl.

Because no one else would,
white hairs line the floor
and the air is getting stuffy
and it’s growing harder to breathe.

My great-grandchildren will scarce believe
that such a creature could have ever existed.
“That’s so unfair!”
“Why’d they do that to him?”
“Why didn’t the police save him?”
“Where were the grown-ups?”
“Why did that happen?”
“Why’d he have to do that?”

“Because no one else would, child,”
I will be forced to say.
“Many of us could have,
but no one else would.”

Written by

I write about the end of illusions.

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