Mar 31, 2015

If Wings Neither Waxed Nor Waned

Written by Gillian Cummings

Read by MeLaina Elise Ramos

Death rattles her name in its throat. If her
clawfoot bathtub is full of captured pigeons,
her hair knots from sheer lack of rain. Pull
pain up the spiral staircase, take down fringed,
frayed shawls from the wardrobe’s dim musk.
Death dreads not dust on a mirror–Polish it,
polish it, not one speck should show–Death whets
its tooth when she looks in shallows and sees
depths, no mirror, no eyes with a child’s sad wisdom,
losing a game. The more she abides in the body,
the more her body is not. Death hears pigeons
coaxing, cooing, a cough like last, labored breath.
My doves, what are we? Cloak of the moon and bone-
winds of stars. And light–we know not from aught.