Rachel Dacus: "Flight"




I woke up this morning and you

looked a lot like me: my shoes,

my hair, my eyes looking out of yours

in the mirror. My earrings dangled

from your lobes. Good morning, darling,

I said. You look familiar.

I want to be you, you said.

I’m hollow without you, I need your bones

to be my skeleton and your wings

to rocket me into the air.


When you said it, my bones

filled with desire and my arms

stretched out so we could glide

on your wish.

You said you were lost.

You said never

to leave again like that.

Never, I said. My heart unzipped

and let out a large pair of wings.

We flew over fields and roads.


Everywhere we were brushed

by wings. Birds startled

out of maple trees,

shaking down seeds

that looked like green wings.

Hummingirds propellered past,

their tail winds spun us.

Moths spread wings

out to breathe on the rocks.


You said you were happy, peaceful,

as our light bones lifted us in circles

like a mother bird

teaching her fledgling to rest

on the air. We are now me.

You disappeared and we are light

enough to soar

in a curve like a bridge

spanning the bay, like a woman

in ecstasy arching her back.



Rachel Dacus's full-length poetry collections are Earth Lessons and Femme au chapeau. Her new collection, Gods of Water and Air, is forthcoming from Kitsune Books. Her stories, essays, reviews, interviews, and poems have appeared in Atlanta Review, Boulevard, Fringe, Many Mountains Moving, Prairie Schooner, Tiferet, and other journals. She contributes poet interviews to Fringe Magazine and lives in Walnut Creek, California, where she works as a fundraising consultant.