by Amy Roa

I was on my way to school when two otters slunk out of the river,
wrapped their bodies around my right leg
and started chewing viciously.
I went to school with the otters inching closer to my femur
and I learned to love them. I called them Joe and Jane,
and they kept me company while satellites fell through the roof of the cafeteria.
There was no clear explanation as to why
any of this was happening
or why all the girls in my History class had taken off riding atop giant insects,
but I stayed behind and thought of all the things I might never get to do,
like watch my dog become a baker or fashion myself a body out of amber.
My ancestors would have looked for omens inside chicken livers,
but they died of Cholera centuries ago.
Now I live in an apartment by myself
and the birds fly along the hearts of trees.
I can tell you more about the world.
This morning sunlight fell onto my lap,
I cradled it for a moment
peeling back its particles,
its life
to look at the darkest places between the stars.

AMY ROA’s poetry has been published or is forthcoming in The Yale Review, Poetry Northwest, North American Review, Guernica, Fugue, Quarterly West, and Mid-American Review. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.