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.
softened by light.
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
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
tracks in a circuitous direction.
The starling would like to remind
you, with a beak as small as
that soaring is simply how it
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
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
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 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.