Blackbirdan online journal of literature and the artsSpring 2011 v10n1
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Paper Suns

My love. I tended him
after he fell. His charred wing stumps,
his elegy of scabbed feathers. Only then
would he accept a bed, me
in it. The memory burnt into his limbs
burned me, too, so that only my negative remained
in what amputated dreams he had, what
eerie ornithology haunted him. My hybrid,
neither bird nor angel—I came
to gather what boy there was left
to salvage.

I fold him paper suns, light them
on fire, hurl them skyward,
a revenge I can offer.
For a moment, the sun in his face,
twinned in his eyes.
For a moment, not the sun, but his face,
its reflection like the sun,
like an old story. In the water,
another sky, a ghost sun.
He didn’t know at first
if he was falling or flying.
Which was his sun?
He, my sun.

When he fell, he splintered
and I was born.
From then I carried him.
He still burns when he sleeps—
I can scarcely touch him. Every night
I singe a part of myself, lose myself
to ash. I rock him
back to dream, and in
him, his father. We three fall
and fall toward
the salt womb, sea-bed.
F a c e s   s u n w a r d .  end

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