sal kang

sonnet for birds of paradise

sonnet for birds of paradise
after paige lewis

i like the way your teeth clack. is that weird?

i like your conspicuous color. i like how your back bends.
i prefer your voice cracks to the way others can belt.

it’s always been this way. nothing explainable
about it. they don’t understand how we’ve survived

so long on such an illogical system. train to see love
as categories of traits. hierarchy of desirability.

what foolish research. don’t they know we evolve
curiously? with every beat of wing we invent new genres

of beauty. some songs will be passed on & some won’t ever
be named. when i kiss you in the forest, it could always mean

goodbye. it’s just that, so far, i’ve been deciding against it
every time. haven’t had enough of your feathery chest yet.

haven’t had the chance to name all of our dance moves.

"And the leaves are green" by DS Maolalai

Sal is a professional sluggard and occasional writer. Their work has been published in Canvas Literary Journal, The Rappahannock Review, and Yes Poetry, among others. They spend most of their free time sleeping and rewatching Bo Burnham specials.