Amphispiza bilineata

Black-throated sparrow
David Irvin



lines like the slithering silver edge

in them now

looking through them

discovering ourselves


because of them


how it cut this forehead

drinking its frailty

smoking its throat

because of them


on a thin branch to think

there’s a way to cut it off

right there

beyond the aphid eater


to slice

to live

to hope

for a new bird


The black-throated sparrow

The black lung

The black path

The black wind


The black patch


on a branch





David Irvin is a librarian in New Mexico. He lives in the Chihuahuan Desert with his wife, daughters, and dogs, including Leonard Marshmallow, named for the late L. Cohen.