[I Lean Toward That Shape, Wishing to Stroke] by Joy Manesiotis

I lean toward that shape, wishing to stroke
its silky outline, but I will be undone

by the gesture. The bird whose name I do not know
calls in the morning’s suffusion of light—once, and again. I wish only

to see the unencumbered gaze—to know its contour
and its blessing. Now empty of the bird’s call, the air

stalls, refuses to lighten. The bird will not call the morning
into being. I would be wrapped in the warm silk

of that regard, for once clear and without reproach. An atonal humming—
its uncertain vibration—fills my torso, no plush comfort.


Joy Manesiotis is the author of They Sing to Her Bones, which won the New Issues Poetry Prize. In May, 2012, her poems were dropped over Nicosia, Cyprus as part of Spring Poetry Rain, an international cultural event to foster peace in the last divided city in Europe.