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Issue 1.1 

Summer 2021

Carrie Nassif


While watching a live scan of my heart, the valves opening and closing seemed to me to be clapping their hands, or flapping their wings in flight. I wanted to capture that sense of awe at the body’s pulsing strength and delicate fragility.

This Fibrous Birdflight 

this frantic this      hissing    steam  

both spire     and       gorge  


as though in    really could         equal out 


how we divide       each side  

by these two lung sacs  

so many sloshing chambers  

all twitching flasks  

a variegated fetus       and       its threadbare      its throbbing      tremolos 


let every lub     be a mitral wing span           every dub

a heaving           a feathering           flap  


these wavering reds       murmurating cells      swarming

our pouches 

the syncopated hiccups of valving claps  

so that a small        a speckled thing                  expands  


contracts what       else           is


but the daggering      of

stretch marks 

your blustering intrusions  

the steady static of acceptance  


  of  my    yes    yes     yes    yes     yes     yes     yes                yes                    yes 


fisted hearts straining 

clenching wombs    spilling life 

cramping tissues in a fibrous birdflight  

this enervated meat

we these nubbly         these warblings  

all eat   and  excrete

Carrie Nassif is a queer poet, photographer, parent, and psychologist with a private practice in the rural Midwest. She lives happily with her partner, their 16 year-old future marine biologist, a very spoiled bearded dragon, an aging but sassy orange cat, and an aggressively friendly 65 pound lap dog. Recent work can be found in The Gravity of The Thing, Tupelo Quarterly, and Pomona Valley Review, featured in AROHO's Waves series, and in several anthologies.

Carrie's Book Recommendation

I'd recommend ]Exclosures[ by Emily Abendroth (Ahsahta Press 2014). It's a masterful collection of rich language and creative form which explores inequity in a unique setting. 

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