"Hagefen 4" by Eyal Binehaker.
© Please do not reproduce without artist's permission.
by Chloe Honum
The fluorescent light in the group therapy room is vetting me for some
terrible migration. I ask the counselor to turn it off. My native bird is
flightless. It's a cousin to the moa: a brown hut of a bird. The boy with the
twisted body is talking and dabbing sweat from his brow with a handkerchief.
The lights go off, and suddenly it's late afternoon and cloudy. The Vietnam
vet says his violent father was the fire chief, and that's why no one believed
his mother. He shakes his head and blinks. My native bird is nocturnal.
Though it has lived thirty-nine million years, it and the sky have reached no
Chloe Honum is the author of The Tulip-Flame, winner of the 2013 Cleveland State University Poetry Center First Book Prize and Foreword Review's 2014 Book of the Year Award, and a finalist for the 2015 PEN Center USA Literary Award. She is the recipient of a Ruth Lilly Fellowship and a Pushcart Prize, and her poems have appeared in The Paris Review, Poetry, The Southern Review, and elsewhere. She was raised in Auckland, New Zealand.
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