I am azure-headed,

ruby-breasted,

emerald-winged. I flutter

into your embrace,

only God and His sun

as my witnesses.

You tell me that I dazzle color,

even when my feathers are

plucked, even when all that is visible is

the white plumage beneath the surface.

When my toes are ripped, you stitch

them back; when my beak is scratched, you

flip me onto my back and

place a healing kiss to the wound.

“You are my painted bunting,” you say,

and I squint into your eyes—they are my stars, that twinkling choir—

as my breast swells with a certain fire.

I was born

blue-headed and green-winged,

but you, my dear, you are the artist

who painted this chest red.

 

Written by Hannah Butcher
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