Once a woman in the zero
gravity of a vacuum chamber fell
into unconsciousness as if into a bed
of asters assembled from a flash-
back of stars—and the last thing
she remembered before blackout was the noise
of saliva boiling on her tongue.
Turns out birds need gravity
to swallow, so they couldn’t survive in space
even if they had the right kind of wings
to arrive. I’m starting to believe
in angels outside my window.
They sound like clumsy kids knocking
their front teeth together in prelude
to sex, that little snare
drum among the unstoppable symphony
that is the opposite of a closet,
in other words what is sky.

Front page image by Luz Adriana Villa.

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Katharine Rauk

About the Author

Katharine Rauk is the author of the chapbook Basil (Black Lawrence Press) and has poems published in Harvard Review, Anti-, Hobart, Paper Darts, and elsewhere. Her poems have been choreographed by dancers as part of Sandbox Theatre's word/move project as well as performed by musicians at Willamette University and the University of Texas-Arlington. She teaches at North Hennepin Community College in Minnesota.
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