two clipped wings
spread across the ground
without a half-picked ribcage
through which one’s guilt
unfurls at the thinnest corners.

an omen regarded
cautiously as twilight echoes
of molars hitting repurposed steel
so everyone was warned
that one day, another will go.

with a message,
a warning,
a plea,
and rustling bribes,
for it is time.

fetching a roll of card stock
and etching our sins
on every line
though we know what was done
hours before it came.

Cat No. 43 of the 500 Cats Project