Lane Falcon is an MFA candidate at Sarah Lawrence College. Her
work has appeared in 2 River View, 42 Opus, Holly Rose Review, Quay,
Pebble Lake Review, Milk Magazine, Wicked Alice Poetry Journal and
Best of Chicago Poetry 2005. She lives in the Washington Heights area
of Manhattan and works in the South Bronx. She is originally from
Virginia and Chicago (USA). The poem "Alpha" was featured in the
recently sunsetted Holly Rose Review.

The Orphan Avows

When I find you—a tree
cut from fable, fingers pointed

like tines—I slide the length
of you, cling—a morsel to spine—

circle your ankles, climb
inside a bassinette of branches,

draw night from your hair.
I wake, demanding salt, dough,

to lick meat from a wren, praise

for the wasp-swaddled hive
of my hunger.

To flavor your marrow,
steep in your bloodline.

Dear Katya

Yesterday, I replaced you with a mango,
today: a tiger shark. Tomorrow, I'll swim

beyond coral jaws, crests shallow
as children's voices, into
the wave who roars behind them—

womb, a whirl of sand, shell, a ballet
of nettles. Each flaring umbrella: dear breath.


I mistake one for a dropped glove, soft grey
cached in jagged pavement... All week
they've haunted me. Walking home,
shadows pucker, run. At night,

they sneak under the door disguised as water,
then form. My mother

—a prayer card of St. Christopher
in her glove compartment, heirloom rosary
coiled in a drawer—suggests a special
cat. I meet this cat,

he holds my gaze as if to cast a path
across the void... I want to believe.
I don't.


Danielle called you ugly
your foaming chestnut muscles
the star between your eyes
crushed by a cowlick
but you jumped anything
That, she'd point
I'd scoot you down the ditch
strides from a barricade
of timber—anything
What I lacked in grace
I'd accomplish with bravery
picnic table, bunked canoe
I imagined mid-cartwheel
on my broken back
months out of school
Danielle's retelling whipped
with praise. Her pony asleep
in blue sheen, she'd shop the forest
for admonitions
I'd look between your ears
at the swinging door of branches
to the woods, at my fingernails
black-lined with dirt
Your hooves clapped, ready
Her hand would drop
chance would rise before us
and I'd unbridle
your whitewater stride
Each day dove into me
You jumped anything

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