Anatoly Malotkov

Ornithology
by A. Molotkov

from a line by John Sibley Williams

Father’s fist still hurts from Sister’s face.
This makes me weak like poison in the blood. The wind
invites me out. The grass is tender over broken glass
and excrement as rough practitioners of love touch under
the tree, let go. I too should let it go, if not
for her small face, small fire,
her blue black eye,
her fear of darkness.

She flies in her dreams.

She stutters, in her eyes a history of loss.
She expects pain, prepares for less than worst, thinks
in hopeless symbols, soars through fear and longing
all day and graduates to darkness in the evening.
At night, she listens to her future,
clear like bird song.

There is no bird.

 

Published in Cider Press Review, Volume 18, Issue 4.

Anatoly MalotkovBorn in Russia, A. Molotkov moved to the US in 1990 and switched to writing in English in 1993. Molotkov is the winner of New Millennium Writings and Koeppel fiction contests, two poetry chapbook contests, and a 2015 Oregon Literary Fellowship. His full-length poetry collection, The Catalog of Broken Things, is forthcoming from Airlie Press.

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