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Homunculus

by Brandi George

I couldn’t stand silent while my father cocked his rifle at each thing
small enough for him to own.  I had walked since I was a boy

who turned into a girl who was called a liar by everyone
I loved.  My spirit in that angular, wiry form was red and winged

like a dog’s bloody fang.  I had walked since a sparrow, cardinal
and starling lined up on my father’s windowsill and pecked the glass

together:  snare, timpani, bass.  I’ve become the owl, howling
for the heart he couldn’t give, instead siring a bastard child

who wouldn’t enter into his world until the boy dove off a cliff
into shallow water.  I had walked since proving all hollow objects

sound like the ocean, and so I gained a vacuum—a chasm
so infinite my father-dreams could wing forever without crashing.

O tiny changeling embryo, self-sculpting clay, you are a pecking mass
in the shadow of a bolt-gashed tree, a dreamonym for dust.

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