Imagining My Birth Sisters as Kites
after “Samain” (1951) by Leonora Carrington
The sisters I’ve lost are slim, three
dancers lifting a kite—or is that my body,
grown so light the earth won’t hold me
down? During this carnival,
my birthmother looks away, holds
her stomach, fattening again.
Like her, I try to flatten my face
behind a rabbit mask. Like her, I have hands
for feet which means I grasp
onto everything, even the dirt, when I try
to walk away. I hold onto my line
with all four hands. I’m caught
in a changing wind. The girls dance,
the babies grow, and I’m pulled
away. Did she keep the cord
which held us together? The moon
is out and so is Jupiter. She has so much
flesh to hold already, those other
soft children. When I fly
overhead, wrinkled and pale,
I don’t think she’ll hear my wings.
Stacey Balkun received her MFA from Fresno State and her work has appeared or will appear in Muzzle, Los Angeles Review, THRUSH, Bodega, The Feminist Wire, and others. She is a contributing writer for The California Journal of Women Writers at http://www.tcjww.org. In 2013, she served as Artist-in-Residence at the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.