My death thoughts travel on feathers,
gliding by so quickly that I must race
to cup them between my palms
like frightened, wounded birds.

When I peek at them between cracks
in my flexed fingers,
checking for brokenness or bruises,
I find only stray phrases.

Nothing whole; nothing salvageable.
Only broken pieces, fractured
by realities that constantly pull
these Icarian creatures apart.

I blow them hard from my hands,
watch them fly crookedly into the darkness,
and think that their downy, ashen bodies
only dirtied my clean fingers.