& the small of the rain & alive:

(when you aren’t | or | not sure you are) | is a moment of sitting under a soft bridge between you & all your ghosts | as they reach out & break off | & attach to your childhood room

the bridge goes all the way to california | you can’t walk all the way to california |
(the ghosts can reach | but only if you ask them) | you’re afraid of all the dark parts | the sharp of this

this is the moment when you can see through | & you can hold | & you can hold onto this sinking bird | she’s too heavy for the water | & she’s giving up. | (or finally settling)

don’t you dare touch her | she is the parts of you | that are crying | under the weight of this

& you will be held  |  you will be  |  held  | you will

you know this because of the living parts | & the soft & the sunset birds  |  that will take you in  |  & you know this because  | you aren’t any different | because you deserve to be somebody’s child


in the moment of the soft bridge | there’s a sort of rupture | like a murmuration | & the birds will scatter | & you can see to the end of the bridge |

at the end of the bridge is a room | with exposed beams & a window | & all your ghosts are calling for it |

let’s talk about the light that morning |
ephemeral & reaching | in through the car window | because it knew how much | you needed to be held |

& you reach for the sunset bird | that perched on the garage light | in late august when your aunt told you | she’s just coming back to check on us |

this is the night after you learned | how to find out what no-one will tell you | & that holding her dead|is almost like holding her alive | except it has to be the last time |


& this is when you kind of crumble or | you can’t hold on anymore as | she’s being pushed into that furnace |

(& you’re both crumbling now | & it’s like she wants you to know | you won’t go without) |


she | alive | once slapped you in the
face | (you were 8 years old) | when you
tried to smother yourself | with that
feather-down pillow said | something | you can’t remember what |

but of all she wanted | you knew then that | right then | right then | she wanted you to keep living |

& so you hold on through the sharpness | you hold on among your ghosts | you hold on to all of her | you can remember |

because she always will be | the softest parts | & she can hold you | alive | among the murmurations |

GD Harkavy is a last semester senior at Hampshire College studying poetry and research mathematics. They are currently finishing off their first book of poems. Greg’s work has appeared in Voicemail Poems and The Reader, and they also publish under the name Greg McCarthy.

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