Sampurna Chattarji: Body Clock: II

Every hour the bird strikes. A coo at one, a caw at two. By the time it’s three she is thinking of seed, and the way that wings destroy sleep. She has never seen a woodpigeon or a woodchuck. At four the mockingbird returns. Beaks into minutes. One insistent peck at a time, the trunk riddled. Colour leaves her hair, nests elsewhere. A squawk at six, a shriek at seven. Give me a sec, she says, too hurried to finish that already small word. Forefinger on neck, she confirms she is alive.

Sampurna Chattarji

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