When she comes running over like that. Like an apology. Like she
must. When she seems frightened. When she seems wounded. When
she seems to have been bullied. In a park. Just like this one. She’d been
showing off. Like a high yellow song. Like now. But still. She seems
fragile & thin. In the gray cloak of winter. When she should go.
Maybe start all over. Where she started. Where it all first sugared.
& turned black. Cavernous. Cavity. An exaggeration. Just a little dip.
A cut of air. Like a mistake. What we say to one another. Stays out
there. What we do also. An apology—
is not an eraser. Maybe a filling. A cover. For words spoken in haste.
Or maybe. With purpose. With fear & anger. If she should go now.
How would her flock know to find her? With a new family? With
purpose? With fear & anger? Where she started. Like a magpie out
of orbit. Dismissed. All that energy. All those slicked-back feathers.
They looked like no feathers at all. Naked. Out of purpose. Where
should she go? Like a mistake. Where she started. She wants to start
all over. But.
Who am I to say? The eye is often mistaken. Or is it the mind?
Always eager to interpret. To turn one’s mouth. Every witcha way.
But what does the eye know? What it seeks. The magpie twirling in
the park. Stumbling. Like a liar. The gelled-back feathers. Was she
caught in the snow? Just seconds. Before. Working to know. What
one can never. With purpose? A cover. For words spoken. In haste.
& anger. She seemed hurt. She seemed. Like a magpie. Like a liar. But
I might be wrong. What my eye saw. Where I started. Just seconds
before. A lost thing.
She seemed fragile. Thinner than ever. Preoccupied. Hungry. Like
someone had made a mistake. Had they? Always eager. She wanted to
start all over. We all want that. From time to time. A cut of air. A
cut of the eye. All that sadness. Just seconds. After. Let’s erase. With
purpose? With gladness? A map. Put your hammer away. If a woman
seems fragile. Try to focus. On a magpie. On a blend-in bird.
A lost thing. Happens. The eye can miss. Just seconds. She seemed
fragile. Different. Like a high yellow sadness. Like someone. A lost
thing. From time to time. A tiny hole. A little dip. Shield her from
air. Like a second. In snow. Without a flock.
Copyright © 2020 Yona Harvey
Used with the permission of The Permissions Company, LLC on behalf of Four Way Books.