Live Feed from the SW Florida Eagle Cam

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Live Feed from the SW Florida Eagle Cam

For E9, Born December 31, 2016

1.
Everything
must first have been

a nameless billowing
in the silent house

of before    until its voice
yolk-forged     could wrest

a pyroclastic mouth
sufficient to speak birth’s

dialect of brokenness

2.
I watched the possibility of you
cradled sixty feet high in a Slash Pine

become a five-day-old
white fluff-bundle of spunk

& open-beaked ferocity     You
command the ripping impulse

that strips off the fish’s silver skin
midriff to tail     with one     swift

grip & flexion     exposing
the host’s fleshy glisten

of lipid-pink life to be flaked
& held to your tiny maw’s tip

3.
Before this feeding     I think
nothing had yet been born

whose name was Tenderness

no one to bring this warmth
of tastes & swallows growing ever

heavier in your belly & on your lids
to bear you to your imperative sleep:

Dream    Little One     in the haven
of your father’s stalwart breast!

Dream of wings outstretched
on the azure’s salt-breath!

STEPHANIE L. HARPER

“Live Feed from the SW Florida Eagle Cam” was published in The Ibis Head Review in December 2017, and appears in my chapbook, This Being Done, also available on Amazon.com.

Unvoiced

Unvoiced

Illustration by S. L. Harper

The words from the dream are
wisps in the air like broken
spider webs wrapping invisibly
about my face and forearms

The fake sunrise tarp draped before me
ripples like a summer mirage
half-soaked into the rural street

and then          as if I were not supposed to
I step through and place my foot
solidly into an evening of dark specters
waiting outside of their existence
to become what I am

there

I am the cool turpentine
wash of grays seeping over
a dusting of brown sand in the road

I am the night falling upon
neglected pastures of weeds
sputtering up about the silhouettes
of tree stumps and old swing sets

I am the street lamps’ sallow illumine
peering out sensibly from between
foolish tree skeleton embraces

and I am still the child
twisting acorns into the asphalt
with the soles of her shoes

squealing gleefully into the night

STEPHANIE L. HARPER

“Unvoiced” made its first appearance in Sixfold magazine, winter 2013 edition.

I was inspired to include it on my site today after reading a little metaphysical beauty posted on Robert Okaji’s  O at the Edges , called “Irretrievable.”