She said, I have a dirty little secret to share
with you, and it will explain
everything. And then 

she blew it into the beak
of a very tiny bird
in an enormous cage. The 

bird, of course, slipped
through the bars and flew away

What they took with them when they died.
What they almost said, but wouldn’t say.

Now, one or two on almost every branch
nearly every sunny day. And

also on the phone lines, even in the rain. 

And some nights I feel miniature feet
tread up and down my spine, and then
sink in

between my shoulder blades, as if
its dirty little wings were also mine.