Fall 2012: Issue 92

Amanda Rutstein

They called my eyes kind,

my face an easy read,


unaware that the muscles beneath

fold and stretch like a foot


of the hawk clutching at wind.

This is the something I hold


in the basement of my brain—

the rigid child fists to the floor.


She knows the purpling

on the underside of her eyelids,


the punches of color when she closes them.

She would chase the hawk.


She would pitch herself from a tree

arms wide and howling.


Instead, I gather fallen feathers.

The soft remains knifelike.


I can run a finger up the blade

and smile at the kicking of my heart.