Susan Denning's work has appeared in Filter, New York Quarterly, Quick Fiction and elsewhere. She edited the online magazine Caffeine Destiny for 13 years, and is one of the editors of the anthology Alive At The Center: Contemporary Poems from the Pacific Northwest. She lives in Portland, where she teaches writing and works at Literary Arts.
"Sight Comes to Owls Slowly"
They leave their nests and their foreheads ache. They think the day wants to hurt them. So when I wore my owl suit the atoms of owls shifted inside me. I climbed into the sky and they believed me possible owl. I flapped my wings like night and hidden but I was not so sure an owl. First I wore the body and then I wore the head and when I asked for trees they gave me trees but not how I wanted, not like limbs to practice dives from sky to bigger sky, but trees that bent their branches to land me safely in the sky. Daughter on the ground but in the sky I rested. When the night was tall my wings, where trees became more trees and then a sky to sleep in. A nest and what I found inside cracked shells and molting. And what I saw was shadows. My sister owls were far above me. The ground a long way down and nothing in the trees that heard me.
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