Mothwings by Stela Brix




If only we were kangaroos. Expelled from the womb

to hop in a pouch

and hide in its dense darkness.


There we would listen to the shush-shush heartbeat

of a distant mother

until the sun breaks through.


Vespers (Sapphic stanzas)

There is no such thing as unconditional

love, my father says, so I do not believe

in it either, quailing under anger like

bricks about to plummet.


Eyes closed, turn your face to the water beating

over your back,  counting vertebra, coating

skin, warm lapping tongue making your boundaries

suddenly glisten.


Last light fading. Listen to birds sing down day,

croon the bruised sky better, as late rays finger

windows, and dusty residue is lit in

startling glory.


Finds of the Day 

Let me declare the gatherings of the day:

Sunlight pouring through the curtains; pink cap

on an ink bottle; walking down cracked gray

paths; daisies in bloom; bitter coffee; scraps


of memory: fried zucchini flowers,

Roman artichokes shaped like roses.

The waiting peace of the in-between hours

not-morning, not-noon, when the orange tree glows.


Phone arguments about money and halls

stale guilt; and what can’t be undone. Troubled

buzz. Hints of loss. Empty park, shadowed walls,

a swarm of ants with wings like soap bubbles.


My footfall beats, How do you make a poem?

Always, everywhere, they happen on their own.



About the Author:

Batnadiv HaKarmi is an American-born writer and painter living in Jerusalem. A graduate of the Shaindy Rudoff Graduate Program in Creative Writing at Bar Ilan University, her work has been published in Poet Lore, Ilanot Review, Poetry International, MomEgg Review and Partial Answers. She is the recipient of the Andrea Moria Prize for Poetry, and was shortlisted for the Bridport Prize for Flash Fiction.