When holding the small bird
its needle-y feet will tickle your palm.
You will need patience.
Blow gently into its open beak
to gain time. It will blink
Reach with your undominant hand
and unlatch ribs four, five, and six
on the left side. Swing them open
Two or three breaths,
expansions of the chest,
and your heart will open of its own accord,
shiny and glistening:
the fifth chamber. It is important
not to hurry the bird.
Late or soon
it will flutter in, and you will feel
its prickly toes on the smooth muscle.
The heart will give a little jump,
which is normal,
and the bird will begin to sing.
Close the ribs, and wipe the skin dry
with a clean cloth.
Drink plenty of water, and for a few days
avoid excessive talk.