Angela Cleland

Angela Cleland

take it gently

ripple and pulse, scalpel of cold air  re-emerging
is the hardest part for some
  the chrysalis eases open, and I  look around
for danger
  heave myself out of myself, unprepared,  the world is
dangerous now
  a woozy, drunken prince, I wonder why  it is so dangerous 

in so many ways
  I have woken in some toff stranger’s  existence
crumpled togs. I cling with my claws  breathing
as if the world is spinning, grow stronger.  Existence is breathing
is being
  Last thing I remember I was  uncertain matter

swimming in a concentrated broth  of fearful origin. What if I’m
  of self, attempting to become something  of my former self
what if I’ve forgotten
  more — I can’t recall what, but my soft  new
wings are stiffening, closing, opening  me — identity

  like a prayer to air. I can’t quite believe in  who I was,
who I am,
  myself, you never can see your own wings.

ANGELA CLELAND is a Scottish-born poet, novelist and audiobook narrator. She has published three collections of poetry and one science fiction novel. Her most recent collection is REAL CUTE DANGER (Broken Sleep, 2022).