How it Flew from Her

27th March 2012

From her mouth. It gathered its small, soft body and leapt
forward, up and out. And then it was gone. She knew
because of the dark hollow in her chest, like the place a woodpecker makes,
keeps making, until it’s emptied the wood of food
and moved on. She didn’t try to stop it, because she didn’t know
what it was; what came from her mouth
looked like a white moth, the kind that eats wool, so she clapped her hands,
chased it to the window, pulled the shade down
and pretended that was that. It’s surprising it stayed
as long as it did, because most of all, she made it wait. She made it wait
while she beat a dead horse, hit the nail on the head, drove her point home,
split hairs, threw fat on the fire, killed birds with a stone.
Naturally, it grew tired of waiting,
tried to tell her, made a few practice runs, beat its wings;
she could feel it, don’t tell me she couldn’t, she could hear
the wings beat. She still feels it, like when you lose an arm or leg
and it aches but there’s nothing there
to ache. That’s how hollow she feels. She talks a lot, laughs
with her mouth open wide. Not everyone knows why,
but I do: she’s making a place for it to come back to.

Amy Dryansky

12 thoughts on “How it Flew from Her

  1. Kristina

    I don’t know why, but I find it heartbreaking how many things that poem could be about.

  2. Amy

    Whoa… the chill bumps all over my body are so intense they hurt. thank you so much for sharing.

  3. Megan

    Oh, gosh. I had just read that Adrienne Rich had died, and then I came here to this poem. I read the whole thing, expecting it to be by her, and reading it through the lens of her. It’s funny what the brain does.

  4. Sheryl

    Second time I’ve cried in my office today. Thank god for the door. Painful chill bumps, indeed.

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