Blackbirdan online journal of literature and the artsFall 2019  Vol. 18 No. 2
an online journal of literature and the arts
 print preview


This is the process I see now, internal rupture
as through a streaked microscope,

how light outside the body breaks off into nothing.
Last night I watched the sky

slip from its definition of blue, then pale
to the edges

of dried skin flaking from a hand, taut lines
like the veined strings

holding an orange’s flesh together. Something
inside me is unraveling,

blood the wrong ratio, diminished without me
knowing. So I wanted to believe

whatever makes up the horizon hasn’t changed
once since I last looked,

or since the first time I recognized a color
in it—child view from a small bed,

startled awake in the middle of night, winter
darkness purpled by light pollution

and sharp angles of branches. That sky can’t be
repeated. Time pulls the cells from us

and last night held none of its old colors.
Instead the tips of branches

were almost orange where they met the emptying
sky. I needed its glow to transfer

to the underside of my skin and hollows
of bone to understand

the disappearance of cells, this betrayal of parts,
to watch my body’s light fail.  

return to top