A cawing band of crows calls me
through the open window.
I strain to see them
through the trees,
searching between the limbs
for their sturdy black bodies
against the blue sky,

weightless in flight.

I envy them their wings,
long for my own to lift my
weighted, earthbound
body to the heavens.

The rough calls fade to nothing.

I raise my hand to my chest,
press that hollow
below the collarbone
just above my wild heart–
where she lives,
tattooed in ceaseless flight;
fingers trace the delicate
wingtips and tailfeathers
whipped out in black ink
under my skin,
and know I, too, am

weightless in flight,

arms turned wings
stretched out against
the blue sky
in my own soul.

┬ęstephanie pepper, 2020