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Woman Looking Up Into A Plum Tree

Strung with whistle bones, frail reeds fledged, a bird
can fly or fold in, tuck beneath the wing the skull's
little engine, that tiny grist, that whit of will.

This is the secret kept in the crook of the limbs:
what claims flight must first be hollowed, must
whittle to a straw grace. Desire, that heavy

marrow, will someday open, riddle with holes
for wind to clean. The wet plum will parch to its
stone pit, dwindle and lift its faint whiff of almond.

But she is rooted still, tang of riven earth on
the back of her tongue, a late seed considering
another rending, an improbable sprouting into

turning air, a farfetched bloom. If she lightens, it is
slowly. Above her, the bird unfolds, beats sky with
thoughtless wings. She does not yet envy its going.

Melanie McCabe

History of the Body
David Robert Books

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