Because it aches, you say, and the ache is weighty,
weighed down, wings stuck in mud. And not just any


mud, but mud of late winter, when the film of ice still
fastens and fetters – this something that doesn’t seem


beautiful. But gorgeous, yes? That sunlit field suddenly
through bare branches, clear cold. How the feathers,


even one of a hundred hundred blows free, that melt of
glint of early sunrise that gives you shivers. That something


you can’t quite say is beautiful, but something like beautiful,
like the woman in the red coat buying fresh persimmons


from the vendor, that ache to run across the street and buy
one too, to find your way inside to the sweet flesh with only

the lightest pressure of your thumb. You’ve been dying,
yes, you’ve been dying, ever since the sun stung the ice,


the wing began to loosen itself from the mud. And there’s
no reason, really, why, it can’t beautiful, this seeing still


the momentary flood of scarlet in her hands, her breath
free in little smoke circles as she smiles at the vendor.


And the words she says could be anything, anything
at all, even this, yes – something unthinkably gorgeous.

Elle Cee Wallace writes from her small space on an island in Washington. Her poems have appeared in Cold Mountain Review, Amsterdam Quarterly, San Juan Preservation Trust, SMEOP (URBAN), a few others. She loves being outside, conversing with the goats and horses on her walks and work at a nearby animal sanctuary.