‘Hope is the thing with feathers’
She wears a feather
tattoo pressed over her bruises
a dream of rebirth.
It was Carmen the office cleaner
who told her how
a feather carries a prayer:
its stalk echoes a plea upwards
like baying towards the heavens
and a wish for an answer
returning through its hollow shaft
its message of hope.
The day he left at sunrise
she found a feather,
bent in the middle,
its barbs blue and yellow.
After praying she let it go,
watched as it fell softly to earth,
its song swept up in a current of warmth.
He ─ twenty years younger ─ moved —
in February when the cold sticks to limbs
— it wasn´t lust just love
he a painter — filled me with colours
— dropped dandelions in my tea
made me languorous and dreamy
posting poems in his pockets —
I posed for him as Diana in a
forest of weeds — in summer
we´d sunbathe naked — make paper chains ─
around our waists play air-writing games
— blow liquid kisses in the bath ─ drying
afterward — lying awake — he feared
love unmooring itself —
drifting off — a silk parachute
On my cedar bed I feel island,
a language of feathers
levitates along my body.
Its slatted base has a cave
where my belongings squeeze:
mother my child, father my spirit.
I dream of nomadic tribes huddled
together on waxy leaves, rocks and moss
tucked in by toucans, macaws
parakeets and tanagers.
Deep underwater blackens,
an anaconda dies, a desert extends,
a tiny heart left to breathe.
Near to waking I hear a vision,
I see the silence of smoke
clouds wheeling up barrels of rain
forests blown up in a puff.
Maria Castro Dominguez is the author of A Face in The Crowd which is her 2016 Erbacce –press prize winning collection. Her poems have appeared in numerous journals such as Orbis, Obsessed With Pipework, Sarvasti, Apogee, Stepaway, and London Grip. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in English philology.