The Way Back
She said there was nothing quite like
the threshold on which a sparrow
forgets its shadow for another’s. Or a
sparrowhawk, perhaps—the male’s down-
feathers gone orange, as if reaped
from burgeoning sunup. Not that instinct
had ever mattered. When struck
in the upward swing,
doesn’t everything look the way
it once was? I mean—morning
as an amputation of nightfall. Hands as
broken-off, early branches of magnolia,
having waited long enough for springtime. We
have seen the way such bodies
become impermeable. Shoulders move
slowly, riddled with wingmarks. We
saw the talons—one, two—cleaving the way,
one way, back through all that rock. And what
about our word we made for escape? At what age
will even that be unliveable? She said,
I think that day was the happiest I’ve ever been.
She said magnolia was the first flower in all the world.
Leo Kang is tucked away somewhere dour in Yorkshire, England. His poems have been published in Eunoia Review, Kissing Dynamite, Tilted House, and others. This autumn, he begins his English degree at the University of Cambridge. On good days, he still believes in dragons.