Jehanne Dubrow

Dear Geryon—

At twelve I lashed my own magenta wings
beneath my shirt, afraid of how they stirred,
moved independently, soft whisperings
of feathers at my back. Ungainly bird,
I sat alone, the schooldays like a cage.
I hunched over a book, my scarlet hand
a tanager that pecked across the page,
red fingers hopping through a meadowland.
The only place I flew was in my mind.
There strangeness had a perch, a branch to bear
the weight of what I felt. I could unbind
myself and catch the currents of the air.
How wide my wingspan then. How bright
a streak against the ruminating night.

after Anne Carson