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Poetry No. 81 – Glen Armstrong

Neruda’s Birdcage

by Glen Armstrong

When birds sing do they mock 
the study of music theory? 

How can we express song as both 
a subset of joy and danger?

Who dances to silence,
and how do they know when to stop?

Who eats the stem
and spits out the cherry?

Which shades of red
does poison prefer?

Should I be afraid of looking 
weird in this red shirt?

Should I take flight,
will I remember my destiny?

Glen Armstrong (he/him) holds an MFA in English from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and edits a poetry journal called Cruel Garters. His latest book is Night School: Selected Early Poems.

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