Felicia Zamora


The belly of the forest exhales— all the wrens & doves
& robins & dunnocks & thrushes gather as one
singular wing to beat in torrent across the pastures,
against the scaffolds of this barn. These birds in stun,
their bodies frozen in dizzying flap, mourn relinquish
of their unguarded flights & begin to weep; a story, not
unlike your story, wedges in their gullets, a lodestone
they cannot swallow; their tears release in surge of air
to pelt panes, shingles, edges of stone where walls meet
the earth. You brought this with you in tuck of flesh,
in arc of finger bone, behind the ear drum; wind huffs
below the slatted planks of flooring, in the knot holes
whistling; ocean of sky upon which your fragile vessel
of organs floats; how buoyant must you be now?
Polarity a fickle want & aridity unclothes us, bares us
nude to the elements, raw & lustful to be carried home
in any sort of measure. & in the rattle of saucers, you
remember the space between her palm & your cheek,
the millimeters in count on your lips now; how calm
then rapid, then sting, then regret; the butter dish’s tink
& clap, parade for the lonesome, summons you into
the night; we all more astute in weather—that in which
we cannot control; how wings, wings now; how a gale
so violent caresses you, catches you on you haunches,
burying your wounded lungs into the wounded storm. 

Felicia Zamora is a poet, educator, and editor living in AZ. She’s the author of five books of poetry including Quotient (2021 Tinderbox Editions), Body of Render, 2018 Benjamin Saltman Award winner forthcoming in April (Red Hen Press), and Of Form & Gather, 2016 Andrés Montoya Poetry Prize winner (Notre Dame Press, 2017).