SARA DAILEY

Elegy for the Unborn

I.
When you leave the atmosphere
the black birds take flight
like a panic settling in.
The wind for days stutters
in the eaves, curves along the gutters,
a bold thing becoming familiar,
and I want to make
only small things.

II.
Where does flight go
when no longer in the body?

All those arcs uncharted—
as if Daedalus, watching Icarus fall,
sees only some gust of wind go past.
Plummet is too like plume,
a flutter of white feathers and falling,
the down swing of a pendulum,
no longer keeping time.

Did Daedalus himself then want
the sun, another kind of white,
the bright clean burn,
light chasing away sight?

III.
My tongue wants a word for this—
amid the buzz of insect chatter
the pure white pea flowers jut from small vines
and the noise of my head, loose,
is an illegible thing, twisting
on wind, catching on its currents,
breaking suddenly open
into flight.

[BIO]: Sara holds an MFA from Hamline University and works as a teacher and editor in St. Paul, Minnesota.

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