Issue #10

Fidelity of the Albatross

            Long on the precipice, this forlorn cottage has

            curled in upon itself. Famished and petulant

            storms devour the horizon: I pull the duvet tight

            to my monotonous curves and watch my image

            fold into the window pane. Imagine surrender

            as notes of foreign perfume

            gently soaking into an unmade bed. I fly

            to a flickering form in the clouds, for

            he wheels heedless of the many

            lyrical moments that have bloomed

            since he folded his heavy wings,

            and rooted his talons in woody earth.

            Together we transcribe

            featureless maps that yawn

            between the wild and mirrored headlands. His

            beak scores each new horizon into an exactitude

            that ships can navigate by, and we traverse still.

            He has been tempted;

            a heat in the cage of his hollow ribs;

            a mountain’s white repose, distant shores,

            and the colossal strength of saltwater against the

            struggle and thrash of sodden down. When ignorant

            jealousy trussed his wings around Earth’s

            broiling mass, in a circlet of our desire,

            and shame.

                                                                       And yet,

            his continued and true seclusion turns all leagues to

            a distant, hazy abandonment. For we had

            hoped, in this cottage, to turn to each other,

            with the arch of smooth backs

            pressed against jutting rocks,

            twinned in a slick and crimson cocoon,

            waiting to be reborn.

Catriona McLean

© 2014