My love keeps her wings secret under her clothes until at night when she steps out onto the balcony. She stretches them out to dry off the sweat after a long work day, pulsing them slowly, creating little whirlwinds as she watches the planes coming in a line to LAX. She has sewn crystals into the feathers, and while these chime together, she sings of her sadness to the travelers above, free to go where they will. One day the Santa Ana Winds will call to her, and she will launch into the gusts and be gone from my life, but it will all be worth it. When she is gone, I will think of the clean white moonlight making her silver feathers flash.
John Brantingham was the first poet laureate of Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park, and his work has been featured in hundreds of magazines, in Writer’s Almanac and The Best Small Fictions 2016. He has eleven books of poetry and fiction including my latest fiction collection Life: Orange to Pear (Bamboo Dart Press). He teaches at Mt. San Antonio College.