Bethany F. Brengan

Dead Goldfinch


I thought he was fruit laid open
on the curb or a not-yet-ripe
avocado, the kind January
ships up from Mexico.

Finches are supposed to fade
into sparrows for the winter.
But his corpse is like a new ring
on a plain girl’s hand. Tripwire

in the dark. When I was
in college, a gray kitten spat
and snarled beneath the juniper
outside a rural Hardee’s.

We had only paused for salt
and warmth, my ride mystified
by my murmur of glee, of grief,
as I bought chicken stars. Crouching

in the snow, I shredded
a zodiac and threw it, arm by
arm, into the bristling maw.




Bethany F. Brengan is a freelance writer and editor who grew up in Kentucky and now lives in the Pacific Northwest. Her poetry has appeared in Capsule Stories, Channel, and CV2: The Canadian Journal of Poetry and Critical Writing.