“omen” – Poetry by Monica Lewis

Winged Creature on Silvery Ground – Vajda Lajos, 1938

“omen” is Monica Lewis‘s beautiful, blooming poem from our Fall 2018 issue.

{ X }

A FLUTTER OF WINGS CAUGHT
stuck inside a rain soaked gutter
i count the seconds between
each beating

the tree they thought dead last year
now specked with tiny blooms on every arm
a hundred branches splitting themselves open
to flower the life that though
encased, all winter months,
never stopped breathing

this land where beauty lays herself
out like an easy lover, but
between every blink, she reminds,
for every inch given there is an inch
taken, and the seconds between
grow longer,
the beating of wings
grows weaker

he steps out into the mud, sweet, slow
heavy boots toward the life caught drowning
as five turns into ten turns into twenty seconds between
my own beating turns to a bleeding
and the gray fog clouds the mountains until
they are sucked into sky

and i can no longer see the blue or the green

but he returns
points a thick, steady finger to the elm tree
just as the night is all i start to see, i hear,
“there, there, there she goes” and a bird,
not our bird, but a bird with unwetted wings
flits, flies, and flutters above

and the branches are blooming
and the gutter is silent
and i remember amy’s words:
“the woman on the ledge will
ask herself a question, the
question that occurred to that man
in Bogotá. he wondered, how we know
that what happens to us
isn’t good?”

{ X }

MONICA LEWIS lives in Brooklyn, New York and holds an MFA from Columbia University. Both her fiction and nonfiction have appeared or are forthcoming in SmokeLong Quarterly, Apogee Journal’s Perigee, and The Margins, and her poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Rust + Moth, Glass: A Journal of Poetry, The Boiler Journal, PUBLIC POOL, Yes, Poetryand(b)OINK, among others. She is a VONA/Voices alumna and has been twice nominated for “Best of the Net” in 2017 and 2018. Her full collection of poetry, Sexting the Dead, will be published later this year by Unknown Press. Follow her on Twitter at mclewis22.

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