The crow touches a rosary to its forehead
Then tosses it to a gutter
Outside a church
As the crow is followed by followers

The dove sees this
And lingers behind
The line of avians
Who follow the crow

A jay watches this
From across the street
Dark eyes calculating
All the others’ moves

The revered establishment
Fades as the crow walks
The others still follow
To see what happens next

The followers on the sidewalk
Enrage and display
All the aggression
They feel for the crow

It doesn’t mind
The mob is loud
The sky is louder

The rosary didn’t grant the crow
It hides its feathers
Under thick black coats

The dove joins the mob
The crow casually flees
Looking for a sanctuary
Somewhere else

Then the dove is seen
Among the crowd
Eyes drawn and
A weapon in talon

The jay crosses the street
Running in front of everyone
It surges ahead
To walk with the crow

The dove grows in power
The other birds have a leader
They press their march
On the crow’s trodden path

Then the crowd burns the jay
And it is lost to the mob
The crow relents
And lets itself be taken

The dove takes a knife
To the crow’s covered back
Sheen of blood on
Layers of delicate feathers

It stands above the others
The heretic has been slain
They gather to trample and burn
The heathens on the sidewalk

The crow’s coat
Is lost in the fray
As ashes rise from
The two birds’ backs

In brilliance, the jay rises
Radiant fire burns
Up from the ashes, donning the coat
Is a jay reborn as the phoenix

It takes the crow in talons
And flies it away
Looking for a sanctuary
Somewhere else

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