I was born under a fish-scaled star, a scar in my aunt’s
brother’s father’s eye. Is this a bone I see, or ash dust
inherited, a silent twin inhabiting my ventricles?
The prima-donna sky preens, sends us lightning sprites
red and too quick to capture. I was walking. I was a whole
lot of broken, and snap, there goes my ankle. The moss
spoke of spring-like January, but the camera didn’t
hit the deep-rutted trail, held close to my heart. My
mornings are voluptuous, my miscalculations disguised
as happy accidents. I believe in my grandfather’s third
kidney, the way he lived through the work of shifting
one pile of stones to another corner of the barbed
and electrified yard, and back again until the sirens sounded
the end of light. Today I discovered a new species
of beetle, a bee who loved my shirt and wouldn’t leave.
The wind issuing from god’s mouth was warm. The wind
issuing from god’s mouth chilled me to the bone. The grass
was god’s also, and Matisse’s cat dreamt of Marianne
Moore with crooked wings. The moon is in umbra, the moon
is menopausal, and time makes less sense than it did
five seconds ago. I will haunt the stars I can’t touch
right now. Every turtle galaxy, every swan-booted nebula
now my problems have been all but solved. I put my nose
to the sweet pea, to the whetstone, and learned something
of the extermination of the human race. I pray my father’s
father’s sisters, who flew through the chimneys, knit
their souls back into body when the stars call us away from here.
Ronda Piszk Broatch is the author of Lake of Fallen Constellations, (MoonPath Press). She is the recipient of an Artist Trust GAP Grant. Ronda’s journal publications include Fugue, Blackbird, 2River, Sycamore Review, Missouri Review, Palette Poetry, and NPR News / KUOW’s All Things Considered. She is a graduate student working toward her MFA at Pacific Lutheran University’s Rainier Writing Workshop.