Amy E. Bartell, Entrance, 2018
Mixed media collage

Your father clasped his hands together,
made a stirrup for your foot and then
one, two, three! flung you into the air,

            flint you into the airfield
flipped you into the airbrick

a thousand drops of ocean gleaming

            thousand octaves droplets cleaning

your greatest childhood dilemma
solved for an instant—   
you are both bird and fish!

            (birdie fish coat, burden
witchcraft)
—   

an air-born, salt-licked creature
who must pull in her wings

            pulse in her wishbones
punch in more windows

and stop laughing

            coughing, lamping, stop lasting

before you hit bottom.

 

Donna Steiner

 

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