“At nights birds hammered my unborn”

By Ishion Hutchinson Ishion Hutchinson
At nights birds hammered my unborn
child’s heart to strength, each strike bringing

bones and spine to glow, her lungs pestled
loud as the sea I was raised a sea anemone

among women who cursed their hearts
out, soured themselves, never-brides,

into veranda shades, talcum and tea moistened
their quivering jaws, prophetic without prophecy.

Anvil-black, gleaming garlic nubs, the pageant arrived with sails unfurled
from Colchis and I rejoiced like a broken

asylum to see burning sand grains, skittering ice;
shekels clapped in my chest, I smashed my head against a lightbulb

and light sprinkled my hair; I rejoiced, a poui
tree hit by the sun in the room, a man, a man.

Source: Poetry (April 2014).

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Poet Ishion Hutchinson

POET’S REGION U.S., New England

Subjects Living, Parenthood, Sorrow & Grieving, The Body, Relationships, Family & Ancestors

Poetic Terms Couplet