by Amy-Jean Muller


TW: Suicidal Ideation



I have a small bird in my pocket

and I keep him because there is no room for more

in my heart

the others flight and flutter wings against at my lungs

which stops me breathing sometimes

And it hurts;

carrying them in my chest behind the ribs holding them in

But that’s what pain does, they say, and fly up into my head.

I have a small bird in my pocket

and he tries to persuade me with stories in my bed

whispering about graves,

good women

and gun powder

and I try to be stronger than him,

but it’s dark in there between us

most nights

I have a small bird in my pocket

and I wonder if the others have heard him

are there are more of them than me

So I say,

be quiet in there with your song

and he does,

but only for a little while

So I take him out of my pocket

because he’s too big for those seams and too loud in my dreams

when he plans my grave with gunpowder.

I feel him peck away at me so hard my hand begins to bleed

and when I look into my palm a revolver weights down

just below my sleeves

That bird, Ill swallow him whole

and whisper his song

where an empty pocket bleeds

Amy-Jean Muller is an artist, writer and poet from South Africa who lives and works in London. Both her art and writing explore culture, memory, mental health, identity, and sexuality. She has exhibited her art in South Africa and London. Her writing can be found in various publications and is a regular contributor for Versification and The Daily Drunk. She also writes transgressive fiction and is currently completing her first novel.



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