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Grey Sparrow Journal

Issue 30, July 31, 2017
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RETURNING #2

 

 

 

When my mother flew from the nest everything was an empty mouth,

my stomach nothing but wind and sky. My teenage body, like driftwood,

washed ashore into the arms of men. I wanted them wholly,

wanted them distant, wanted them floating on the shoreline

like a black box detailing the scenes of my disaster.  

 

For years it was my job to pour alcohol into the empty

cups of men. I watched cobwebs gather in their hair.

Now I watch for a flame of wings in the backyard of my childhood

home, remember the place I dreamed away from,

the empty glass I held out to the world.

 

A woman in the kitchen is sewing grief into an empty mouth

with a certainty only the body knows. The way a Swallow

builds its nest of saliva and mud, a genetic map flapping in the brain.

 

This house is not a map. It is the shadow of a girl who woke up

with the world opening inside her like an unnamable star,

the endangered world spinning on its axis, listening for the flap flap flap of leaving.

This house is made of tripwire. Here, let me show you.

 

                                                                    -Sharon Venezio