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Drowned Angel Blues

                                    Anna Journey

My wings are invisible—
like the infinite, juiced-up
gloves of hummingbirds, or plums
bobbing in stirrups
of milky current. As a child, I once
observed a wasp hover
near a bulge in a picket fence—
some weird cocoon a housepainter
froze to the wood with his hurried
lead-based strokes. The wasp’s
falter over the mummy
in the fence was like the boy who held me
at the dance, at thirteen, whose eyes
buzzed some distant target—another girl’s
window of perfume
fracturing the dark room’s blue
crepe-strung corners. One
partner is always better
at vanishing. I imagined, afterward,
that my wings could break
through my lead-white dress—could even
make headlines: the teen
in her borrowed antique gown
who entered the too-high river. Unlike the spun
moon in water—my fringe of eyelets
dragged like frozen rabbits. I knew
my wet lace at nightfall must hold
the most radical weight.

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