“Circle of Cranes” by Luisa A. Igloria

Luisa A. Igloria

CIRCLE OF CRANES

I will stand like the flame in the flame…
I will stand very still in your absence…
—David St. John

They have stepped out of one
rectangular sheet, the six
that now touch wingtip
to wingtip and, wordless,
hum the white notes of the song
hollowed out of paper—anthem
of a kind of reverse creation:
folded from substance,
a well of apparently
nothing

But even so the empty
space shimmers: a disc
echoing still with the swift
crosswise slash of scissors
the careful pruning of neck
from neck and wing
from wing

Newly sprung, each
genuflects stiffly to the empty
circle, remembering how
the grasp of the world
came coursing through
the limbs; and what
it felt like to lift entire,
like dying, from
the blade

from Rattle #27, Summer 2007