Beth Bachmann


Beneath the bridge, swallows mold the mask

of a woman’s face,


clustering mud and tufts of hair dredged up

from a ditch,


leaving an interruption large enough to enter,

to spit wings,


which is an odd way to invoke annunciation,

a sudden blow.


The bones are narrow, so the birds take turns.

When it’s over,


                           the ground below whitens.



“Nesting” first appeared in Black Warrior Review, 33:2.