Instructions for Humility

by David Gustavsen

Go out in the early morning and catch the birds.
As many as you can. Take them in your hands,
careful not to crush their fragile chests. Later, you will
pickle them, preserve them for others.
But for now simply place them in Mason jars,
poke holes in the lids. Notice how even
the common robin, Turdus migratorius, sings
better than you ever could.
Realize, he neither knows nor cares.

David Gustavsen is a student at Indiana University’s Department of Library Science, where he studies digital graffiti and analog audio. His work can be found in Yemassee, Really System, Driftwood Press, Zo Magazine, and Stone Canoe.