Opening My Car Door, I Look Down
Plump as a tulip bulb but smaller,
with what I mistake for a tender root,
barely green, sprouting from the side.
It is a wing,
the bulb a body, one blue-
purple vein on the left,
beak pointed flint-like, neck exposed. Look up,
the nest, small and twig-bare,
young mother’s poor choice.
How could she be so reckless, forget
that life, barely budded, can be cruel as asphalt?
You fell before you could fly.
You never stood a chance, little one,
and it’s not fair
the last sound you heard was not new
or beautiful or kind, but a crack
both gruesome and all your own.
Blink out the stars, tangle blue
in my throat, your fingers
pull the knot in my sweatpants,
palm to navel push,
hunger takes over, slips up
torso, left breast, tongue
your blue highway print
on chest and neck, marking
me for silent screams,
wild hair pull,
my head, your hands cradle
my body, your map—
in this cartography, stars mark
highways, blue Route 66
stretching out, fingers grasping.
I never noticed
never saw a sunset,
and I didn’t know
how wide I smiled until
my skin stung
with wind song
on the back of the Vulcan,
around back seat steel.
But after the sun sank below
silhouette tree lines,
after we had our fill of drinks
and over-priced French fries,
after I almost got into my first fist fight,
we rode over a two-lane Pennsylvania bridge.
You leaned forward, pointing out
shadows on the water.
All poems appear in Michelle Greco's chapbook, Field Guide to Fire.
"Rewind" also appeared in Painted Bride Quarterly.
"First Ride" also appeared in Generations.