A woman confronts a photo
of another woman with wings.
The winged woman poses before
a tower crane that poses in turn
before a distant cityscape.
Although the burnished tangerine
gown that drapes her geometry
features elegant corrugations
that would surely trip her in flight,
her wings look too feathery
to brace all that fashion aloft.
The woman observing may think
these doubtful appendages fail
to justify so much wall space
in this worldly, pricey museum.
Without creeping closer and spoiling
the tableau, I can’t determine
if those wings have grown fresh
from the subject’s sexual ethos
or whether from early childhood
she enjoyed deep alar passions
that have fruited in this display.
Maybe she hasn’t actually flown
on those flimsy accessories
but will launch herself as soon
as the photographer has finished.
Maybe the woman onlooker
would like to have wings of her own
and will go home determined
to grow them despite the fear
this ambition stirs in her partner
and friends. I want to tell her
to go ahead and will her wings
to sprout from her naked back,
maybe after a strenuous bout
of routine lovemaking. Maybe,
though, she just wants to drape
herself in tangerine and pose
before a distant smiling city
where tower cranes peck at
the landscape like blue herons
pecking meat from minor species.