Dream Extracts [American landscape / iridescent formation]

— Cory Hutchinson-Reuss

Every book opens with birds, beloved. My head, after hearing the word cancer, was filled
with cinders. After hearing mass shooting and torrential rain and wind, a giant beak

pried me apart. My head opens with birds, beloved, my skin opens under a surgeon’s
knife. I see children building, hair glowing on the lake’s edge. The dire facts wave in.

I lay my childself down at the threshold of my room and the hall, under the attic fan,
heaven its roar around her. Leave her there. I open my limbs with birds, beloved,

with grandmothers, with birds of kinship and guidance, a magnetic field inside and around
me that holds. I can’t list all the ways the news cracks me open, fills me with matchlights

that converge into one conflagration, rustling everywhere. We never know what’s living in us
till it grows. I grow more numerous and unrelenting, beloved, breaking into burning colors,

crying at the screen. Even my enemies are mine. Fear tries to script me, but I’m in
this body, our skirts billowing, erupting with wings. Fire-opal evening, its edgeless manifesto.

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