Hummingbird–Alisha Bergliot

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At the outdoor concert in the trees, we heard the story of a composer—Satie?
Couperin? I cannot say—who gave directions in his scores not to play with mere
expression but to make the music sound like a hummingbird with a sore tooth.
How am I to remember the names of men or birds? Because it was then,

you kissed me the way a hummingbird would kiss if it were sore from trying,
impossibly, to taste the nectar on my soul, honeysuckle too deep in the ribs
for your tongue and caught your tooth on my branches, flying backwards,
and your song, iridescent wing from the blood of your mind, was drawn out

as you cried and cried for your mate—I spread a nest in leaves with soft hair
as spider’s webs, and you swung down in your courting dance, a U-shaped blur.
Defying death in your hunger from height, your ruby-throat hot from calling,
you plummeted and fluttered on my yielding heart rate, as if seeking flight

through my flesh into something divine, like music you can’t describe
except through metaphor, like my feathery ache of sounds: perch, hear, nectary here,
attempting to teach you the way in through my bones, as I try to sing, near
carnivorous, what I cannot say to you, like love that can only be hummed.


Alisha Bergliot received her double BA in English Literature and Writing at Taylor University and her MFA in Creative Writing: Poetry from Bowling Green State University, where she studied with Larissa Szporluk. During her graduate career, she received a BGSU Devine Poetry Fellowship, judged by Jane Mead, and gained a scholarship to attend the Napa Valley Writers’ Conference to study with Brenda Hillman.  Bergliot was a semi-finalist for the Indiana Review Poetry Contest. Her poems recently appeared in Cicada Magazine, and she was selected to be a featured poet on Cicada’s website. She leads a poetry program in her community.

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