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

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.

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