Brian McGackin πŸ”ˆ

A Hummingbird Flies Into My Open Car Window

No it was a butterfly.

No it was a moth.

No it was a hummingbird
with two tongues long like
antennae.

I asked it to leave.

It hummed and beat its glass wings
and drank nectar from my eyes.

No it was my ears.

I asked it to leave and it
hovered beneath the
rearview mirror and I could
see myself there but smaller.

I started the car and
it was unafraid.

I turned the radio up
and up and up and up
until nectar from my ears
drenched my shirt and
it adjusted the beat of
its hummingwings.

I didn’t swat it but I
closed my eyes and dreamt of
swatting it and it knew
it knew.

We went for a drive.

We passed a garden of
lilacs and wild raspberries
and the smells were in no way
enticing.

We passed a sod farm bales
bulging like green warts from the
earth and I stepped into the
field to simulate joy.

It would not follow.

We passed a supermarket
and I stopped for
sugar water but it
vomited droplets of blood
on my hand at the offer.

The blood burned like acid through
my hand and through my leg and
through the car floor and now light
would shine if there were light.

We passed a forest and
the hummingbird shrieked and
the forest birds answered and
the bones in my chest hollowed.

I could have flown but the
hummingbird said
no.

We passed a sign that read
ocean.

We passed another and
the grass grew taller and
the soil was sandy.

We passed a third and the road
broke apart where a path led
to the water.

I turned right and the road rose
and rose until with cliff to
one hand and cliff to other
the nectar drew itself back
into my ears.

I said
this is your last chance hummingbird this is your last chance
and its forked tongue could taste the
altitude I know it could
but it was unafraid.

I turned left and I could have
flown but the hummingbird said
no
and I rolled up the windows
though I knew it would never
leave me and
the impact won’t kill us
I said
it’s only water think of the rain think of the rain
I said
we are falling into so so so much rain.

Author Reading

About the Author

Brian McGackin is the author of BROETRY (Quirk Books, 2011) and IN CASE OF DEATH (Not a Cult, 2018). He has a BA from Emerson College in Something Completely Unrelated To His Life Right Now and a Masters in Poetry from USC. His work has appeared in places such as Huffington Post, New York Daily News, LitReactor, Drunken Monkeys, and The Prompt Mag. He lives in Los Angeles, where he enjoys Guinness, comic books, soccer, and classical music.