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Sarah Blake

Her body has been singing to her from under the earth.

In a Wood, with Clearings, It's Spring


You missed it yesterday but now you can tell the horse is pregnant. Now you can see the foal moving inside her.

How did you miss it? Was the dead bird so distracting?

Right now the bird spirit is wrapping her silver tongue around the horse's middle. If only she could speak, she would tell you the horse has been pregnant for 11 months.

She will foal this week.

There, see the droplets of milk on the inside of her leg. Her udder is full and ready. You think it's best not to touch the horse again.

She must know how to give birth in the grass.

You can't help but think about all the bones that are in her right now. And though they are covered in muscles and skin and fur, you hear a rattling sound that fills the woods.


The bird spirit understands that her new form is more beautiful. Even if it is less seen.

And she flies so easily. Minutes ago she flew right under a bird of prey.

Hours ago she was above the clouds. The air was thin. The stars and moon were close.

Her body has been singing to her from under the earth.

The song is sad. And when she sings, a whistling noise leaves her torn stomach.

The mismatched notes of her grieving body are the saddest of all.

Sarah Blake lives outside of Philadelphia with her husband and son. In 2013, she received a Literature Fellowship from the NEA for her poetry about Kanye West. Other excerpts from "In a Wood, with Clearings, it's Spring" can be found in Ampersand Review and the Los Angeles Review of Books.