Old Prozac

Behind your kitchen window,
the familiar sparrow visits
            a dried flowerbed,
finding you again
under a gnarled cardigan
and the lust of another
            small anesthesia.

He fidgets, head bobbing,
looking mournfully
at the window and you,
clawing the shell
            of a gray stasis
while he needs nothing –
            perfectly himself,
            perfectly sparrow.

You want to take him
in the house of your hands
and feel the fragile heat,
            like holding half
of another, smaller fire –
or at least an ember,
settle for an ember.

Open the window,
and he would present himself
with warm, wet feathers
like the showered hair of a lover.
He would flutter to your shoulder
            with the old bird-smell
and damp, black eyes,
as if to say

            how dearly he has missed you.

Andrew Lance is a senior at Purdue University, studying English Literature. He is the President of the Purdue Student English Association and the Editor-in-Chief of the undergraduate literary magazine, The Bell Tower. His work has appeared in Tributaries: A Journal of Creative Arts from Indiana University East.

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