by Em DeVincentis

Can you count how many chirp
outside my window?
My grandma says they come to her every year like a visit from the Cape. The red bird,
weaves strips of bark, grasses, lines it
with strands of her hair, nesting a home
in her dogwood tree. Their brilliant scarlet
bodies a treat as a child; easy
spotting, sweet reward. They mate
for life.
We look at field guides and pretend to be professional birders. Her husband
alights on the bird bath, singing
as she hums at her kitchen
sink. I used to believe I would love
someone almond and crimson like
cardinals, sing the same birdie,
birdie, birdie
. We talk about colors
and I don’t think about reds. Migration
ignored, they linger between neighborhoods,
towns streaking cardinal. I lose sight, my vision
crying for a now empty dogwood. Who
is red?
my grandmother asks, and I point
to the bird perched at her kitchen table.

Em DeVincentis is a trans poet living in Brooklyn, NY. Their writing focuses on simple joys and transformations, present in nature and those they love around them.