From the branches I catch the flicking
of an eastern kingbird, it’s raspy call

like lost memory on the damp wind.
In this moment all is only the bird and I,

my hand and it’s wing, it’s song
and the salty taste of my own words

held ablaze in my mouth. It is a mystery,
the bird and it’s sharp wing that opens,

like a knife might, a yielding to your
presence in me.

Such darkness in sworn secrecy, the hidden
you give me hope to open.


Photo by qmnonic

Karla Van Vliet

KARLA VAN VLIET is the author of two collections of poems, From the Book of Remembrance andThe River From My Mouth.  She is an Edna St. Vincent Millay Poetry Prize finalist, and a two-time Pushcart and Best of the Net nominee. Her poems have appeared in Acumen,Poet Lore, The Tishman Review, Green Mountains Review, Crannog Magazine and others.  Her chapbook Fragments: From the Lost Book of the Bird Spirit is forthcoming from Folded Word. Karla is a co-founder and editor of deLuge Journal. She is an Integrative Dreamwork analyst, artist and administrator of the New England Young Writers' Conference at Bread Loaf, Middlebury College. Karla lives in Bristol, Vermont. 

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