Clawing up the incline

by Anna Press

I always think I’ll never survive.

Then like a lion carved loose from marble

I am undone,



a shyly gamboling creature on knobby legs.

Giraffe girl, only graceful in the bow

of my neck,

the incline of my head.

I can gaze at my navel and chuckle.

I can reach into the bomb of my brain,

pull the right wire


and clip it like embroidery floss.

Instant give to the blades of the heron’s bill.


and unabashedly.

The clock stops. The ticking

makeitstop makeitstop makeitstop

gives way

to silence.

An answer to a prayer. Now I am animal,

a new kind of being that doesn’t recognize the old powers;

free to catch up with my own mind,

to shed whatever fetters hinder today’s joy.

Anna Press is a writer and educator. Born and raised in Los Angeles, CA, she now lives in Brooklyn, NY, with her husband and three errant dachshunds. Her work–poetry, essays, and book reviews–appears in Kissing Dynamite Poetry’s print anthology Lift Every Voice, The Hellebore, The Columbia Review, Necessary Fiction, and Glass Poetry. Talk to her on Twitter @annaepress.


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