by Kathleen Lynch

Kathleen Lynch

Some of us are not born right:
for example, here I am
and this is my sister
her head caved in my chest
my sternum her skull-hole
my blood hers. She appears
to have crashed into me
like a bird that forgot
how to land.

This is how it is: she was born
wanting to be my heart
but could not find her way in
before we both broke into the shocking air.
So now I stand before you
more than whole, and declare
I, myself, am no freak, and she—
look how innocent
though God's thumb pressed her down
before she could utter one word.

This is how we are: when I eat
she gets full. I will collect
her strange feces all my life,
dress her flailing body
and bear her as my own.

And when I sing I do not sing
of beauty, but of hunger
my doubled voice
pitched to the cry of the hawk
as it hovers on wind
then plunges through air and light
into the sweet dark flesh
of its only life.

Last updated April 02, 2023