Thumb across the surface –

cheekbones changed,

eyelids re-shaped.

So many ways to die and be re-born,

endless incarnations

from a limited source of malleable

weight and density.


On a hilltop, swinging, over and back

from an edge – crashing water below,

beat-up concrete blocks,

dead fish polluting the shore.

I dreamt of owning wings like everyone else has, but

I never was an eagle or angel, I never had a name

for the sacred space in the early morning,

floating around through changing

landscape-imagination, sometimes

nightmares more solid than when asleep, sometimes

immaculate colours, touching with my tongue

the sensations of a song,

notes rising like shields, urgency,

chaotic wanderings.


Still secret and still cultivating,

thumb pressing into the surface,

forming shadow, a mound of awakening flesh.

Ritual of communion, discovery as

rich and wide as lovemaking, watching

for a trace of motivation to ignite

my waning discipline, swinging high

to land in the waves when I jump,

high enough when I jump

to out-maneuver the rising pile of rubble, to land

with ability, moving under the surface.



Copyright © 2017 by Allison Grayhurst



First published in “Novelmasters” November 2016

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You can listen to the poem by clicking below:




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