The Nests I Do Not Know
Birds with wider wings are not less beautiful. Why
then does my belly, which rounds and swells with flesh,
ferret between branches of a tree? There is no space
for nesting amongst the nymph leaves. Leaves, which curve
with lightly veined greenness. Even when dead
upon on the ground, they call people to gawk
at their splendor. I too tried to die upon the ground,
but could not find either death or the ground. I do not see myself
above sea level, where I tread shipwrecks with the kelp
and undiscovered octopi. There are no birds at sea level
I call mine. Only hands, blindly grasping rock and bone.
Bone, which juts through the surface of my hips, the hips I touch
lying naked on my back. Fingerprints are stamping the marred skin
I shed every seven years, parting swollen spaces weak like wrists.
This is how I claim the nests, the nests I do not know. They wait
within my cellulite spreading onto a chair —
each ring around my barked and rooted spine another hair
whose grey I do not hide, another leaf falling away before it is known to me.
By Rachel Evelyn Sucher
Rachel Evelyn Sucher is a queer-identified Vermont writer, activist, performer, horsewoman, and intersectional feminist. Rachel is the founder & Editor-in-Chief of COUNTERCLOCK literary & art journal. Her poems have been shortlisted for the International Literary Award (Rita Dove Award in Poetry) and the Dan Veach Prize for Younger Poets, and longlisted for the Brett Elizabeth Jenkins Poetry Prize. A mentee in the Adroit Journal Summer Mentorship Program and the Glass Kite Anthology Summer Writing Studio, she has also attended the New England Young Writers’ Conference at Bread Loaf and the Champlain College Young Writers’ Conference. Her work is forthcoming in Tinderbox. When she isn’t wrestling writer’s block or the patriarchy, Rachel can be found snuggling puppies, making music, and overthinking in her nerdy poet’s notebook.