The grieving and the dying

just go on and on. It’s amazing

what a life they have,

this life of loss.


Neither right nor wrong,

this fucking heart.

Who knew the story

would be all about pain?


Who knew

you’d be asked

to give everything, then

give more?


How is it that the birds

singing and chirping this morning

are so unconcerned by this,

do not even know


loss’s name? How could humans

ever think they are better

than the animals, a life

of suffering superior to a life of song?


You’d do me a great kindness,

you gods, to let me come back

with flight and music as my only goals.

They are my only real goals now—


but i don’t reach them

with the ease the birds do—

and then there’s love—

that’s the one, the hook


where i am caught and the flesh

around my mouth tears,

and i bite down harder,

unwilling to let go.

—© Maxima Kahn, published in Tule Review