When I raise my wing it has no shadow.
When I turn my head no wing is there.

Night pond, silent, holds the face of the moon.
I dream of oceans. Waiting is my first language.

Have bees roused from their torpor? Is the egg
cracked? In the storm, when earth seems to verge

on collapse, I recall the shell that held me.
Slowly I learn the dimensions of ruin, the duality

of light, left, cleave. Of fall. To fly is to cast off heat,
to know all the names of air. There is no manual

to parse this light. Yet the gulls rise, the night
still gray on their wings, and know where they

must fly. Crows, in their turn, reel, and robins
sleep hidden until day cannot reverse its promise.

I am in awe of their certainty, their command
and grace, which I attribute to the moon

and do not recognize as hunger. I practice
the vocabulary of a brief life, never knowing

how much will be left undone. Does the tree grieve
its fallen leaves? Here a single feather, primary,

cipher of flight, story in barb and vane, in hunger,
echo, silence, in sudden shadow, lifted wing.





Artist, poet, and freelance writer, J.I. Kleinberg is a Best of the Net and Pushcart nominee. Her poetry has appeared in December, One, Diagram, Otoliths, Raven Chronicles, Psaltery & Lyre, and elsewhere. She lives in Bellingham, Washington, and posts most days at and

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