There is no chorus of weeping. I do not
Beat my breast for something so unmade—
The shoe too small for the foot, the sound too faint
For the ear. Those front-heavy bodies I sought,
Stretched full to burst as milkweed pods, know things,
Feel things that I have not. And yet. Small bud,
You took me for a moment, fluttering, a moth
In shadows. For an hour, I knelt before the fire, marveling
At your curious ache. Gripping myself in newness,
Flowering in secret, moon-round and simple.
Assured of the cauldron of my body, my eyes watchful,
The night protecting us in tissue folds of darkness.
You were so quiet. The dripping tap,
The house’s quickening heart.
I dream-walked into bed,
Alive and somber—cradling a microscopic flame.
At morning’s break, the sudden end.
I tried to hold on, dam the flood. As if I could.
Strange bud, you hadn’t time enough to land.
Between worlds, not home in either one.

Meghan Sterling’s work has been featured in the Chronogram, Stone Highway Review, and Freshwater. She is a marketing writer and writing teacher, and she lives in Asheville, North Carolina, with her husband and cat.

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