by Mehrnoosh Torbatnejad



make a cage from splayed wings,
like the rings of an atom,
you become a nucleus in their capture;
for years, they knead you with talons,
caress you with curved beaks;
sunlight then becomes a violent thing

and I know that one day
in a sudden moment
bred from a mystic force,
he makes you laugh,
and every second of each day
is a daring relief; how lucky
to be seated beside a barrel
of infinite shine,
drowning in the hope
of a beautiful life;
how did you ever hate this,
this breathing, this daybreak
that so many before you abandoned

So proud to bask in the triumph
of your release, you miss the swift
brunt of the arms that raised you

and I know in a matter
of those same seconds,
the fist of sun vanishes
into its own hollow,
and the rays left over
do not belong to you

and I know when you collapse
into a moan, they hear uwwa,
your howl a night call to their ears,
they return, descend,
encircle you
with the wings deviously designed
to stay silent in flight

May Torbatnejad

MEHRNOOSH TORBATNEJAD was born and raised in New York.  Her poetry has appeared in The Missing Slate, Passages North, HEArt Journal Online, Pinch Journal, and is forthcoming in Natural Bridge and Painted Bride Quarterly. She is the poetry editor for Noble / Gas Qtrly, and a 2016 Best of the Net nominee. She currently lives in New York and practices matrimonial law.


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