Flyways and Tributaries

Kelia Ideishi

Jerica Taylor

You began when the sparrows took 
flight from sleep. Your longing to rip your beak 
through pine needle curtains has perhaps
stalled the transformation.

When you breathe, the lift 
of your chest tugs at a blanket that doesn’t quite cover 
your feet. The nightlight meant for a stargazing 
child rocks the green stars back 
and forth across your ceiling, less a wave 
and more a nod. 

The spell swirls apart; dizziness should 
resolve quickly as the blacktop, a parking lot 
with white lines erased, transforms 
into hungry, patient water.

The scent of your laundry soap is 
wrong and the sleeves of your sweater bunch 
at your wrists, a monster’s fist. 
You will return to the scene or the sea,
whichever one manifests first, to attempt 
your passage another morning. 



The crumpled places where 
you rest remain, cream 
in the cradle of a spoon. To 
smooth them out would 
be to smother, erasing 
yourself and all comfort 
you found. Believe 
you must be small to 
fit into that shelter but it 
has always grown 
around you, white expanding. 
Clouds pad a crevice,
industrious vapor, spreading 
rocks apart in heartbeats,
making room for you.



You keep a tool box 
between the long shadows of birch
and beech. There is a bolstering
you perform every third Tuesday for 
the trees, root to sail,
and you prepare it now. 

Wind hurries, dodging, careful 
not to loosen the lichen. Orange 
bonnet mushrooms; a lady 
bug’s ladder, sprouting from 
the stump alongside wild pink
asters. All of this is still to come.

The wind will ask the questions,
but you must divine the answers
in the sand rake waves of the most 
recent snowfall. You placed a
treasure under the stony soil and
it must winter there for a little longer.



You arrive:
a destination
softened by light.
You are 
greeted by the paths;
they are so happy to see you.

Your steps are fractal moss, a single 
feather on the starling, black purple.
The husk of the corn.
The mud under the snow waiting to
firm up.

You wish to be the straight shot 
of the bird, wings tucked,
kicking up snow like baker’s sugar
as her feet find purchase in the 
sheared corn stalks.

You have been walking
for so long you fear 
that you will always
be walking,
tracks in a circuitous direction.

The starling would like to remind 
you, with a beak as small as 
a sprout,
that soaring is simply how it
moves around.
You are also somewhere, every flap
of your sun-touched wings.



There is a leaf in your vision,
heart-shaped, dewy. It could 
be coming from a forgotten 
crown resting on your brow.

Fog is the chaos of friendly
opposites. Puddles still wearing
a shawl of ice, a constellation
drawn in negative space.

Sound before sight, raucous honks
precede the prophecy. Generations 
of lookalike silhouettes taking shape
in the sharp eye of a hopeful one. 

A cloud ascended; you stood
within its vapor. Rebuild the 
circlet, weed mimicry for the missing, 
unfurling, irresistibly upward.



Sun on the sill, tabby cat 
sprawled, a hill on the green horizon 
of patchy spring grass. Open 
the curtains carefully: the promise 
of the day can knock you over, kinetic 
warmth filling the bell curve of your 
wide-open arms. If the mountains 
stretched good morning and 
walked the rest of the day, their 
rockslide steps would remain 
wondrous. They take with them 
where they have been and where they 
will settle for the night. Hope manifests
the nest-weave of wishes. Twig 
and moss and a faded white 
ribbon yellowed like a strip of sunset,
gathered in the subjunctive mood.



Through the damp leaf litter and displaced 
lichen, pale ghost sprouts. A door swinging 
open creaks warmly, key in slot, seasoned iron 
and tufts of crisp ivy holding place. The walls 
on either side have long since transformed, river 
stone smooth.

Greetings, incantations. You have been waiting 
on this conjuration.  Reach through the gate, prism 
in your grip, the softness and the remnants of 
what pointed you here. Hollow stems, pink 
fountaingrass, their fragile fox tails a map you 
keep although you already know the way through 
to new. 



Kelia Ideishi

Kelia Ideishi is a freelance photographer based in New York. Through the medium of film photography, she examines the mystery and ominous beauty of the quotidian human experience and the natural world. Employing a diaristic practice, she seeks to decipher how the strange unknown informs our memories and the narratives we conceive from them. She earned her B.A. in Art History from Tyler School of Art, Temple University.

Jerica Taylor

Jerica Taylor is a non-binary neurodivergent queer cook, birder, and chicken herder. She has an MFA from Emerson College. Their work has appeared in Thirty West, Schuylkill Valley Journal, and Alternating Current. Their prose chapbook Donuts in Space, about a stress baker on a space ship, is available from GASHER Press. She lives with her wife and young daughter in Western Massachusetts.