Currency – Sarah A. Etlinger

The Promise – Henry Scott Tuke

We borrow sunlight the way a kite borrows wind.
Days are no longer the currency by which we measure love:
it’s now heavy in the knees like a bell in the quiet,
the first sound of vespers on a grey fall sky.

Were we back there, we would know how to trade
in the coin of birds. A crow collects objects
it finds as it flies, keeps them as talismans,
perhaps an offering. What can we offer

but the slipcovers of emotions, gestures
hollow down to our bones? Yesterday I found
a whisper under the bed, put it out to soak in a puddle
for a crow to find, weave into its nest like it belongs.

About the Poet

Sarah A. Etlinger is an English professor living in Milwaukee with her family. A Pushcart and Best of the Net Nominee, she is the author of two books, most recently Little Human Things (Clare Songbirds 2020). Interests include cooking/baking, traveling, and music. Find her work here.

For the first time in nearly five years, Vita Brevis is closed for submission. Read the full story here.

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