Blackbirdan online journal of literature and the artsSpring 2020  Vol. 19 No. 1
an online journal of literature and the arts
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Jennary: Hinterland

What came first—the starlings, a quiver of wind

like an opened door and an unfurling. What came first—

a flight of doves and a rising. Even the air was soft

and the leaves flung about in homecoming. That feeling

when you first feel that quickening, when you want to give

a whole country back to itself, when you look at the harbor

and want to take the first boat anywhere? I gave all of that to you,

that wilderness. You already knew only what was already wild

could hold you because what is wild knows better than to close

its hands. The wilderness asks nothing more than survival.

All to the body is wilderness when you do not inhabit it.

All the body is wilderness once you do. What came first—

the starlings began to unfurl like words skyward.

What came first—this all happened at once,

the wilderness doesn’t require order. What came first—

you entered the door of the body. What came first—

you pass your fingers across its interior, its furniture.

The mind, the breath, the heart. What came next—

the claiming. You are saying it over and over.

I am mine, I am myself, this red thrumming thing.

My breath. My heart. Me, mine, me, mine, me.  

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