My Life as a Bird
Zara Raab

 My chest a keel, I hold, not armored 
but winged, and, for speed, shed the bones 
I don’t need, and hollow the rest, 
the heavy, pale marrow. 

Air’s the sea of transport 
whose current some fight like the drowning;  
best let air mind the ratios,  
the lift to drag as I turn.  

Readying me, wind slits the walls 
of my wings like the slats of window blinds; 
wind breaks me open, running through feather, 
the curve of my shoulder. 

In one downward flap, I’m off, lifting, 
grabbing the air; you’ll know me by 
my downward pull, as I close to the wind, 
make myself whole again 
in the swift down stroke, and the lift off. 

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