The Girl Who Spread Her Wings
Eyebright she moved into moon
light, from shadows
gripped by gravity’s waves.
Long swim through this sea of night.
In her black hair, sparkling
stars. Silver rings shone, dangling
from ears and everywhere
played around her eyes
and the bones of her face
and she drank darkness
that rich wine on her tongue
as her shoulders
rolled, muscles massaged
A leap and she took
in the clearing, soared
above hemlock and birch
and willow at the river’s edge
the girl who spread her wings
transformed before day
could swallow her body again.
Woman in a Cart
She stands with hair ablaze, wind
scattering smoky strands.
All around the limbless crowd
gapes, grey and timid and afraid.
Horses shiver and stamp, strange
fleshy dance of flanks and breath.
The captain in white won’t meet
her gaze, stares at his half-drawn
sword, dull in the thin, pale light
of failing afternoon. Soldiers blow
into their hands, wind ripples a flag
with stars and silver crescent moons.
Her eyes burn in cold winter sun.
She rides, a painted icon through
the rutted street, gold-flecked
and gesturing, conducting currents
with her snow-white hands.
This is her beauty and the spell
she hurls at everything sold and stolid
and left behind to die:
a wordstorm, a crystal fog of hail,
a window shattering in that frozen air.
Steve Klepetar teaches literature and writing at Saint Cloud State University in Minnesota. His work has received several Pushcart nominations and his chapbook, Thirty-six Crows, was recently published by erbacce press.