after dickinson

i've been tracing the outlines 
of my ribs, poking
into the gaps, the soft cracks
where i might find entrance
to reach in and grab
the thing with feathers.
 
i've been telling myself it's there, fluttering 
the way they say it should.
i've been telling myself i can hear its tune
in the hinges of the swinging door
that hangs open as
the chill of the land and
the strangeness of the sea
press against my cheeks.

but this tinny squeak
burrowing into the orifices 
with claws like broken violin strings
snapping against a snare
sending needles into the fingernails—
this must be the sensation of an empty perch.

i've been tracing the outlines 
of my ribs, poking
into the gaps, the soft cracks
to reach in and grasp around.

if i can hold it,
feel it squirm in my hand,
peck at my skin and sing
against my pulse,
then maybe i can believe in hope.

Oh, My Word! Olivia would love to hear from you after reading this poem. Leave a comment below!

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Oh, My Word! is a weekly updated blog featuring fiction, poetry, drama, and essays for the world. #OhMyWordWednesday

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Hello! I am a poet and essayist who sometimes likes to share her work with the world! I am currently an English major at the University of Iowa and write as often as I can (when not spiraling into the black voids of the internet).

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