the turkey vultures in my dreams are so big (sterling-elizabeth arcadia)

cw: animal death and dismemberment

supernaturally huge

& they keep bringing me gifts
(though i ask them not to)

things like flying snake tails
sugarglider legs

owl feet mangled mice
& the stinky tails of skunks

ive even known them to find whole rabbit hides or
from time to time
mostly intact copies of lizzie borden novels

the blood & the talon marks arent what bothers me
its their insistence which makes me irate
even murderous

its like they dont even realize i can find my own food

dont think i could dig up a dead mouse if i tried

like these birds in my brain dont even know me


sterling-elizabeth arcadia (she/they) is a trans poet and diy tattooer in washington dc, where she watches birds and cares for her cats. she is currently working on a chapbook of queer ekphrastic love poems based on her friends’ instagram posts. her work has been published in Stone of Madness Press and is forthcoming in Fuck Your Dreams Zine, The Oakland Review, and DEAR poetry journal.


image: Kyla Houbolt