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“Swamp Sparrow as Housewife”

In the morning I come to you
like a baby sparrow—my eyes
can’t see straight. Where is our son?
What does it mean to be a woman or person
or bird or bed or falling chunk
of sky? When you go,
in the heat of the night, the sound
of my voice is a hammer
sticking an empty metal barrel.
Even the crocodiles
are reverent. I think,
this is what God feels: lonely,
afraid of his own sound.
I am unhappy with the way
my stomach wants you.
I am unhappy with the things
my hands do—curl around each other,
shiver. Ache. Look at the hundreds
of bones on the back
of my palm. This could be
a broken wing.

Sara Moore Wagner is the Cincinnati based author of the chapbook Hooked Through (Five Oaks Press, 2017). Her poetry has appeared in many journals and anthologies including Gulf Stream, Gigantic Sequins, Stirring, Reservoir, The Wide Shore, The Pittsburgh Poetry Review, and Arsenic Lobster, among others. She has been nominated for a Pushcart prize, and was a recent finalist for the Tishman Review’s Edna St Vincent Millay Prize. Find her at

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