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I wasn’t made by the goo of dna or an egg of reverence.
I wasn’t made at all. Out of the silence I was blurted out.
My little hungry little cells ate up the cosmos.
There was magic. You can’t conceive of the magic.
It was blue, fragrant, and angry like a flower on a mountain.

At the beginning of everything, if there was a bang,
there was also a build. Then one day there was iron,
one day there was blood, one day there were bruises.
On the day you beat the metal
buckle of your belt into my knee there were bruises.

I climbed to the roof of the forest on a white-ashen birch.
Like a father holding its crib before his baby is born,
the trees held me in their canopy.
Over the wood, I could see the land dipping into a valley,
and beyond that was a ridge of high tectonic cliffs.

There were rivers, glaciers, moraines, volcanic deserts, kingdoms
of ordinary men, huts on the bay, fisherman, weaver-women,
children in their thousand-acre forests.

I got strong walking. Lights would glow from my fingers,
my hair grew even though I cut it every day.
If I sat down, a dog would crawl into my lap.

My father took a baby starling and buried it in the ground to die.
The rain beat into the earth and made it soft.
The starling learned to sing, not only its own song,
but all the songs of birds, the history of music;
the song made in and out of silence.

August Huerta is a poet from Austin, Texas. They are a recent graduate of The New Writers Project at the University of Texas at Austin. They are a 2019 Rhysling nominee and will be featured in a forthcoming episode of poetry podcast This is Just to Say.
Current Issue
19 Feb 2024

That was Father—a storm in a drought, a comet in the night. Acting first, thinking later, carried on not by foresight, but on luck’s slippery feet. And so we were not as surprised as we should have been when, one warm night in our tenth year on the mountain, Father showed us the flying machine.
The first time I saw stone and Bone in ocean
This is it. This is the decision that keeps you up at night.
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