Past the traffic of crowds, past the sidewalks,
the dream races. I take both hands, lay them
on the studded door, warm and rough brown,
inhale and drop my gravity. On my exhale, I push,
move forward, and something begins to itch
beneath the skin of my shoulder. It is not
the feet of crow who shadows me; a greeting
of leaves hangs over the door. The door
I push becomes a bridge, the earth rushes like
a boiling river. The way is clear. The hand
open before me has the verdigris of trees,
their rough patina thick like powdered bronze,
dappled from years of light and shadow.
I choose to know living green of chlorophyll,
my end and my beginning. Looking down,
this navel begins a branch.
Let go of familiar
outlines. Turn your feathers
into the ruffles of an evergreen,
you'll blend in. Sometimes
it's in the way
you set your jaw. Poise
can be everything. Let the moon
silver the ridges, the valleys
will care for themselves.
Then, before you blink,
let the hook of beak open the way
to the furnace of certainty. Not everyone
can do this. Trust the hot red blood
to charge you, the gizzard stones
to grist the last hard word.
Laura L. Snyder uses a slanted profile to scratch out words in hard-back journals from rainy Seattle. Find her latest writing in Windfall, Labletter, Switched on Gutenberg, The New Verse News, and in anthologies: Switch (the Difference), From Glory to Glory: Anthology by Poetry in the Cathedral, Manifest West: Eccentricities of Geography, and in Poets of the American West. Laura was nominated for a Pushcart, and for Dzanc's "Best of the Web 2010." Winged came out from Flutter Press in 2012, and a second chapbook, Witness, won the Willit Press Prize for 2012.