Avatar Review
Issue 13

Poetry: Valentina Cano


The grackle sings
He also fights
He strikes with feathered fists
and sharpened voice
Full throated
Fully Conscious
He sings
His wings glitter as they knife the air
A warm dagger

Fling me free
Let me follow that grey voice
Join it in battle
Feather slamming on feather
Reptile claws upon tree branches
grasping the bark tightly
Wanting to spring up
Draw blood

He flashes his beak
Turns it towards the light
and I see myself reflected there
in a pool of black nail polish
I gasp
and he bursts into song
A steel tune that clashes
with the air, with my mind
I stumble over it
and land crashing on the floor
wings scrambling for leverage
for something to propel me
upwards once again.


The mill runs fast
Its wooden boards smash against the water
flinging drops into the sky
They glitter and enjoy
their gaze at the sun

The mill runs always
It doesn’t rest
It doesn’t need to
Wood doesn’t tire
Water grows on it
becoming oceans within it
It smells of weeds, of grass, of animals
Dragonflies flash their wings
Trying to catch the mill’s attention
They flutter by
deep in conversation with each other
blinking at the glaring sun

The mill works
It doesn’t pause
It doesn’t smile
Birds want to land on it
Perch on its cool planks
but the movement scares their babies
and they fly off
in disgust
looking for somewhere safer.

The mill flows on
Moss on the underside of the wood
Gripping it with green horror
The mill works.