The 2River View 20.4 (Summer 2016)

Wendy Wisner

I died, and lost flight

Yesterday felt like summer—

our son tramped through the field,
          a matchbox
                               car in each hand.

I am trying to locate the spaces
between dream and waking:
          his fingers
as he splays them    

against bald blue sky.

Sometimes I feel a rash
spread across my body
to yours.
But really
I’m walking barefoot across the lawn. It’s June.
     She’s wearing the sun-

that makes her look pregnant.
I don’t step on the bee. She doesn’t lose

the baby: her mind

isn’t twisted into spider webs.

(Stop. Listen
               to the rain
      puncturing the roof.)

I died, and lost flight—
               words from last night’s

dream. I told no one.
I was a child.
Did you believe me?
I learned
                   how to hold the letters
in the roof of my mouth.

Then I brought you to bed

while outside a moth
pressed her terrible wings against our window.

By terrible I mean precise—
                                   how I slice
through the living room, a cup

of boiling tea in my fist—
And you
obediently waiting for me.

Are the children asleep?
Do you believe in soulmates?

I died
          and lost
where there is no rain,

only flight. When I asked our son about death
he said, you get shiny, then you get yellow,
then you get broken—

and he pushed
                        his tiny yellow school bus
under the radiator
until winter was over.

Wendy Wisner is the author of two books of poems (CW Books), and her writing has appeared in such publications as Bellevue Literary Review, Brain—Child Magazine, Literary Mama, Minnesota Review, Prairie Schooner, Spoon River Review, The Washington Post, and Verse Daily. websitecontact

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