“The main point was to eliminate the difference between what is seen from outside the window and what is seen from inside”—Rene Magritte
On one pane’s shard in the living room, the evening sun perfect as the evening sun
made artful in the window frame. In our short-tempered house, the windows
never broke or swelled. Flesh did.
Another shard shaped like a boat sails across the floor of my childhood.
A floor my father crossed to smack me and my sister when we rolled our eyes.
A floor television remotes, cd covers, and telephones flew over like airplanes
when he didn’t want to stand up to reach us. In addition to the summer scene,
Rene Magritte painted one of winter, too. Mountains outside the window
take the shapes of peaks fractured yet rising from the dining room floor.
Half a lifetime later, my father’s window still does not break. It is like love’s
instinctual attachment, which, if it must, will form scar tissue over crack and fissure,
stretch skin to keep intact. The bird smack-confused after flying into the hard
reflection of what it thought was the world, drops to our earth. Dad cupped
the fragile fledgling and didn’t toss it to the sky. He warmed it
while his dinner cooled, until the bird was ready, two hours later, to push
its feathered weight up from a palm that had finally learned patience, and fly again.
MICHELLE BONCZEK EVORY is the author of The Ghosts of Lost Animals, winner of the 2018 Barry Spacks Poetry Prize from Gunpowder Press, three poetry chapbooks, and the Open SUNY Textbook Naming the Unnamable: An Approach to Poetry for New Generations. She mentors poets at The Poet’s Billow (thepoetsbillow.com).