Dear Stars

Katie Fesuk

From his second grade teacher,

my nephew learns about hieroglyphs,

scrawls from another country and era.

He likes the ones with wings.

“A is a bird,” he says.

“Lots of hieroglyphs are birds.”

Neither time nor place

can change our desire

to see words take flight,

feathered utterances

in a blue expanse of sky,

language turned to ibis and gull.

When he speaks of canabic jars,

I imagine women writing with kohl

on their own faces.

“C is a cup tilted sideways

with tea pouring out.”

Yes, the pouring in, holding heat,

letting go.

He draws a tomb and pyramids,

remembers more: M is an owl.

Cryptic, stormy predator

my mother keeps writing

from spirit world to my own,

hooting in its tree off Hadaway Road.

M for Mary, cosmic love letter

from my daughter’s namesake

flying past the Japanese maple

we planted after she died.

Dear stars, forgive me how much

I comb my child’s long hair,

the color of each good sunset,

its silk in my grip,

her every sound a dove

cupped in hand,

carved into the mountains around us,

bird heartbeat in my palms.

Feathers everywhere I go.

Fesuk, a Massachusetts native, teaches English in Marietta, Georgia and has earned degrees from the University of Georgia, Agnes Scott College, Kennesaw State University, and, most recently, the Etowah Valley MFA from Reinhardt University; her current full-length manuscript, Mamabird, has recently been accepted for publication. Fesuk studied English and Creative Writing in the doctoral program at Georgia State University and was a Georgia Author of the Year Award nominee for her chapbook If Not an Apple (La Vita Poetica Press). She worked as Poet in Residence at The Walker School, served as Creative Writer in Residence at the Kennesaw Mountain Writing Project, and published poems that can be found in more than thirty journals including Five Points, Poet Lore, The Pedestal, Slant, Atlanta Review, and Wicked Alice.