CHASING THE HAWK
by Amanda Rutstein
They called my eyes kind,
my face an easy read,
unaware that the muscles beneath
fold and stretch like a foot
of the hawk clutching at wind.
This is the something I hold
in the basement of my brain--
the rigid child fists to the floor.
She knows the purpling
on the underside of her eyelids,
the punches of color when she closes them.
She would chase the hawk.
She would pitch herself from a tree
arms wide and howling.
Instead, I gather fallen feathers.
The soft remains knife-like.
I can run a finger up the blade
and smile at the kicking of my heart.