English #frapalymo: Vessel

I climb a low-hanging branch, scrap wet moss
across my thigh. Bark peels under my fingernails,
embeds in my skin, and I bite out each splinter,
blood dribbling on my tastebuds, smeared across
my bottom lip, around my mouth. I extend my
tongue to the tip of my nose—war paint for
the angels—climbing higher to the floor of the
clouds. The crows call to black wings that slice
open my shoulder blades, enclose around sun
in solar eclipse, casting shadows on earth below.

© 2016 Nortina Simmons


Written for Frau Paulchen’s Lyrik Monat, which translates from German to Mrs. Paulchen’s Poetry Month. Today’s prompt is the first line from Tomas Transtromer’s poem, Alcaic“This forest in May. It haunts my whole life.”


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