forgive me, but i have to leave. i opened the curtains and in the rain gleamed a tree and in the tree gleamed a hundred cedar waxwings.
forgive me, i have to go. my keys are in my hand. i cannot stay here. i cannot be your sister, daughter, mother, lover, helper, friend. i have seen the tree with all the waxwings. i have seen the tree that was no longer a tree but a cupped hand, a palm of color and sound. forgive me, i cannot stay, not one instant longer. i am not the same. my heart is a branch and a bird and a raw flame. my head is full of wings and longing. i might come back. i might not. forgive me, loves; i have to leave.
Natasha King is a Vietnamese American writer and nature enthusiast currently living in North Carolina. Her poetry has appeared in Constellate Magazine, Oyster River Pages, Okay Donkey, Ghost City Review, and others. She spends her spare time writing, prowling, and thinking about the ocean. She can be found on Twitter as @pelagic_natasha.