Summer 1996 • Vol. XVIII No. 3/4 Poetry |

Siblings

A print of Audubon's ovenbirds hung above our parents' king-sized bed: the female, ornamental in her tawny crown, craned along a branch the male's banked off of like a fighter plane; and below them both, the nest whose domed, combustible form has given them their name, and whose heat, my sister explained to me, kindled the air around all married lives. Sometimes early on the winter weekends, we'd crawl into bed with the two of them, sink down under that gossamer of warmth, that place of being, and dream ourselves awake again, and waking wonder what it was could make that space ignite, inflame them so. One night,   or so my sister's story goes, from across the hall she'd watched them after they'd just come back from a dinner party, or an evening out. Mother was lying fully clothed, face down on the coverlet, my father was standing beside her with his hands raised up above his head, a wildness in the way he pitched there blindly and would not move. At first I

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Ilium

By Sherod Santos

A print of Audubon's ovenbirds hung above our parents' king-sized bed: the female, ornamental in her tawny crown, craned along a branch the male's banked off of like a fighter […]

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