On Flight

by

Mitali

The woman stands still in the sand,
She can see the coastline from here.
The wind sweeps cries into her hair,
She has never wished for worse omens.
The gulls cry Women, the gulls cry Wronged.
And in the distance, the humming.
Nymphs and sirens and grandmothers
churn in their living graves like a warning.

The woman sings to seashells she finds lying open
Inhabits their empty homes with her fingers,
Tries to root her skin to something real.
You stand in the water for too long and you
Forget where you belong.
Soon, migration hits you like a swarm of birds,
And they only want one thing.
They will scrape your skull until you admit,
You are not like them.
They will burn against you until you admit,
You are Woman. You could never fly.

Mitali Singh's work has previously appeared or is forthcoming in Eunoia Review and FEED, amongst others. She draws inspiration from the natural world and enjoys spending time outdoors. She is seventeen years old.