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
devoid 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
dissolves 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).