Vultures Become

haley petcher

We put each other back together

with homemade glue

and popsicle sticks from the pantry,

red with dye and sticky from sugar.


We hold each other up, say it is good,

and when our popsicle limbs loosen,

take each other’s glue without asking,

slather it over our broken pieces.


We say, there is beauty in becoming,

in dancing with flies above our heads.

We say, we all are born of stars,

but vultures we become.


We repeat without breath

I need I need I need I need I need

until we are ripped apart by talons,

a carcass in a buzzard’s mouth.




Haley Petcher earned her BA from Auburn University and her MA from the University of Louisville. She currently teaches high school English in Huntsville, AL. You can find her work in Pithead Chapel, the Eastern Iowa Review, and Inkwell Journal, among others, and you can learn more about her on Twitter (@HaleyPetcher) and at