was circumstantial: we didn’t know we were
flying until it was too
late to stop. Then, we’re hopeless, tripping
over each other, fawn-
like with our fresh wings. Gangly never suited you
so well. We got used to
the shedding, to waking up with feathers in our hair.
Your head was always up
in the clouds in those days, and we’d come back to Earth
with sun in our eyes, gasping
after every gulp of air. The sunset-red of your cheeks as you swooped
down to catch me in your arms—
flying was the sound of the world falling away until it was
just falling. We were
falling, shedding feathers faster than we could grow them,
and I remember when you took
a fistful from my back and called it karma.
The clouds asking
for their wings back, knowing we wouldn’t be able to step away
from the sky. What a crater
we would have made, two bodies colliding, if you hadn’t tried
to weave my feathers
into your wings, wrestling them
away from my skin, leaving me
I limped away, learned
not to stare at the sun, grew to love the ground and how
it comes up to meet me.
And you — are you still struggling
to fly, beating broken-down wings?
Once-beloved, they are now nothing
Rebecca Ruvinsky is a student, poet, and emerging writer in Orlando, Florida. She has kept a streak of writing a poem every day since 2016, with work published or forthcoming in Prospectus Literary, Sylvia Magazine, Underland Arcana, From the Farther Trees, Overheard Lit, Floresta Magazine, and others. She can be found at @writeruvinsky.