The Burden of Wings (David Adès)

At first,
everything was blurred,
beyond comprehension.

Testing, I hovered above,
taking in a new perspective,
strange, troubling.

I watched myself retreat,
backed into a corner,
on my knees, in a defensive posture,

arms raised in front of face
as if to shield, to ward off a naked rage,
pointed fingers,

a wild litany of accusations,
distortions nothing could deflect,
nothing could counter.

At first I was simply observer,
passive, disbelieving,
distant from myself.

I watched the sky fall,
I watched myself dismantled,
peeled away, layer after layer, defenceless.

I saw a rupturing,
a cascade of damage, invisible welts,
scar tissue thickening

under my skin.  Belatedly,
I tried to prop up the sky,
let the light back in.

David Adès moved to Pittsburgh in April 2011 from Adelaide, Australia. He is a poet and short story writer. He won the Wirra Wirra Vineyards Short Story Prize (2005) and his poetry collection Mapping the World was commended for the Fellowship of Australian Writers Anne Elder Award 2008. David has been a member of Friendly Street Poets since 1979. He is a former Convenor of Friendly Street Poets and co-edited the Friendly Street Poetry Reader 26. He was also one of a volunteer team of editors of the inaugural Australian Poetry Members Anthology Metabolism published in 2012. His poetry has been published in numerous journals in Australia and the U.S. with publications also in Israel, Rumania and New Zealand. David’s poems have been read on the Australian radio poetry program Poetica and have also featured on the U.S. radio poetry program Prosody. He is one of 9 poets featured on a CD titled ‘Adelaide 9’. In 2014 he won the University of Canberra Vice-Chancellor’s International Poetry Prize and was shortlisted for the Newcastle Poetry Prize. David Ades’s most recent poetry collection, Mapping the World, can be purchased from Wakefield Press.