The Early Worm Gets the Robin by Djuna Martinez

Birds (1967) by Brian Wildesmith

The Early Worm Gets the Robin
By Djuna Martinez
Published in Issue 111, March 2023

The Worm rushed through soft soil

anxious to catch a glimpse of the earliest Robin

viciously beautiful

he peered at her through blades of grass

imagining the caress of her beak

arousing his heart

He longed to surround her

to be lifted from this plane

she would surely shudder

as he slid across each feather

enrapturing her in rhythmic motion

If only he could burrow within her

like he maneuvers through dirt

warmth like deep earth

pounded by the beat of her heart

contained within her vessel

She caught sight of him

the ground quaking with approach

he wove through the field

to present himself to her

a slimy, seductive offering

At last, she ravaged him 

his body writhing

In an instant, cut from fantasy

her throat throbbing as she swallowed him

and flew away with his heart aflutter

Djuna Martinez is in her year of “learning to expect nothing.” She is processing the sexual restriction and separation from self that she experienced as a Jehovah’s Witness. A New Mexico transplant, she’s exploring the landscape with her husband, mother-in-law, two kids, dog and kitties.

This is Djuna’s debut into Birdy. Keep your eyes peeled for more future work by her.