blackbird online journal spring 2002 vol.1 no. 1



Seven Disappointments (2)

          We learn early we're just dots
          seen from a great height.
          —Amy Gerstler

You are human again, but you remember
both lives. First, a boy's. Swimming
in the green-black lake, sleeping in a loft
with your brothers, having a mother

and father who each time one of you broke
into the world hoped you would be
something else. Seven disappointments,
one for each day of the week. A life you had

but did not want. Then, a bird's. Preening
your blue-black wings, sleeping in a nest
made of spun glass, alighting on your sister,
her arms outstretched like a saint, although

she did not know you then. From the air
everyone you loved was scattered confetti.
The speck of one, the speck of another.
It was a dollhouse view: tiny, varnished

loaves of bread, a miniature candelabra,
book pages the size of postage stamps.
It felt as impossible as your name
on a grain of rice: a life you wanted

but could not keep. Once you watched
the landscape roll beneath you, a movie
of a tree played on the river, its reflection
flickering as if projected. You are human

again, but you will not forget. From the air,
the lit windows of your house looked like
a fallen constellation. There were so many
with no silhouettes to fill them.

return to top