I am azure-headed,
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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