by Emily O’Neill
Before Nathan lit me
on fire, before he walked
into the desert’s heat shimmer
& became a stone, before
I cupped flight like water
in my palms, I cast two spells—
this is how you braid hair too short to grasp
this is how you are a woman in a boy’s coat—
Between Virgo & Libra is the Cusp
of Beauty, a city of unlanding birds.
I kiss the cacti
& remember what I’ve been
besides a ruby throat:
barn owl in a fig tree// hawk
lifting a snake from the grass//
bat// thrush// crow// a pelican
piercing its own heart.
About Emily O’Neill
Emily O’Neill is a writer, artist, and proud Jersey girl. Her poems and stories have appeared or are forthcoming in apt, PANK, Sugar House Review, Whiskey Island, and ILK, among others. You can pick her brain at http://emily-oneill.com.