Changeling

by Lana Bella


It was a night in late August,
all heat and humidity,
the likes that felt as if she had cupped
death in her palms too long.
Slouched, back crooked downward,
and brown eyes puckered
with trotted-out wrinkles,
all these were signals of a woman
who throbbed neurons into the shorn grass,
cupping the tiny connective tissues
that wove with specks of stars like prayers.

It was still a temporary earth
for her changeling, but on this final day,
things broke into parts of which they were whole;
moon heeling on the pivot of her wrist
and wind garlanding her woolly skin
with heralds.

She emptied out her parched origami
of wings to the watchful crows
perching on the junipers
in shadows;
then she rose,
starved in waiting,
limbs straight down as tine cutlery,
listening for an insomniac trove of light to cut
through the slimmest plate of air
over her eyes,
lulling them back behind
the walls of sockets that belonged
to someone else,
whose images already receded into memory.


Copyright © 2016 by Lana Bella

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