[Charm against sorrow]

Someone perched bird-like knees drawn to chin feet on a fat branch

back curved like a broken arch someone was huddled on a dead tree

on a tree like old bone over water someone could find nothing at all

to praise in the cage of skin nothing in the cage of afternoon someone

ached and was empty the way the beaten sky might sometimes be just

like a bruise the way storms leave everything behind to heal itself again

to make itself into something other than a case study for the wind and

for the rain the rain falls from a height so great that nothing survives

the distance the distance here cannot even be measured someone was

watching the rain was trying so hard to solve for sorrow someone thought

she might be sorrow’s solitary bird but someone was instead the whole

damned flock thick and coming constantly apart and in the rain her nascent

her myriad wings grew too heavy to fly her wet feathers became just

another argument she had already or was always just about to lose

Leslie Harrison

Leslie Harrison

Leslie Harrison’s second book, The Book of Endings (U of Akron, 2017) was a finalist for the National Book Award. Her first book, Displacement (Mariner, 2009) won the Bakeless Prize in poetry from the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference. Look for recent and forthcoming poems in West Branch, The Kenyon Review, The New Republic and elsewhere. She lives in Baltimore IRL and at leslie-harrison.com on the web.
Leslie Harrison

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Author: Leslie Harrison

Leslie Harrison’s second book, The Book of Endings (U of Akron, 2017) was a finalist for the National Book Award. Her first book, Displacement (Mariner, 2009) won the Bakeless Prize in poetry from the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference. Look for recent and forthcoming poems in West Branch, The Kenyon Review, The New Republic and elsewhere. She lives in Baltimore IRL and at leslie-harrison.com on the web.