Her Future Husband Appears to Her in the Shape of a Hawk
after Victoria Brookland

She never knows by which door
he enters, but suddenly
he is inside her. Her red underdress
of hoops and holes stands stiff
as a lightning pole.
In her ribs, the flutter of
dying swifts, drift of whale bone.

All she knows is his claws –
a memory of grazed neck,
bruised lips, her bodice
rupturing into the pink
of skinned hare. No blood
this time. Each month
wet feathers line her uterus.



Abigail Ardelle Zammit is the author of Voices from the Land of Trees (Smokestack, 2007), and Portrait of a Woman with Sea Urchin (SPM, 2015).  She is currently working on a poetry collection exploring the connections between place, body, and the female experience.   abigailardellezammit.net