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 a poet, artist and Integrative Dreamwork analyst. Her poems have appeared in such journals as Poet Lore, Blue Heron Review, The Tishman Review, and Found Poetry Review. Her most recent book From the Book of Remembrance (Shanti Arts, 2015) is a collection of poems and paintings. The River From My Mouth, her first book of poems, is being reissued by Shanti Arts this coming year. She is the co-founder and editor of deLuge, a literary and arts journal and is the administrator of the New England Young Writers’ Conference at Bread Loaf, Middlebury College.

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