Imagining My Birth Sisters as Kites by Stacey Balkun

Imagining My Birth Sisters as Kites
            after “Samain” (1951) by Leonora Carrington

The sisters I’ve lost are slim, three
+++++++dancers lifting a kite—or is that my body,
grown so light the earth won’t hold me

down? During this carnival,
+++++++my birthmother looks away, holds
her stomach, fattening again.

Like her, I try to flatten my face
+++++++behind a rabbit mask. Like her, I have hands
for feet which means I grasp

onto everything, even the dirt, when I try
+++++++to walk away. I hold onto my line
with all four hands. I’m caught

in a changing wind. The girls dance,
+++++++the babies grow, and I’m pulled
away. Did she keep the cord

which held us together? The moon
+++++++is out and so is Jupiter. She has so much
flesh to hold already, those other

soft children. When I fly
+++++++overhead, wrinkled and pale,
I don’t think she’ll hear my wings.

Stacey Balkun received her MFA from Fresno State and her work has appeared or will appear in Muzzle, Los Angeles Review, THRUSH, Bodega, The Feminist Wire, and others. She is a contributing writer for The California Journal of Women Writers at In 2013, she served as Artist-in-Residence at the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

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