Donna D. Vitucci


            Night shoulders against the blood. The iceberg of it moves us slowly across the planet. Inches only, inches. You wouldn’t even notice if I hadn’t reported the progress, the night’s progress. Let the bloom unfurl, let the tiny edges peel back and reveal what’s hid. The larva, the seed, the thing that cannot survive uncovered or all alone. Parasite? Perhaps. Something gorm-like, a caterpillar or a worm seeking atonement, no backbone. Keep it out of the sandbox. Turn instead to the winged, the insects and angels and birds, who warble my name long before daybreak. They rouse me from the dark while rousing themselves, and the dreams rimming the sidelines, they have no power when faced with the birds. The birds have been here for tens of thousands of years, they’ve got it right. They are topmost in the feud, they hold it all in their birdbrains. The dreams that had held sway briefly vanish.

            The ballerina and her balance create, no, exist in the same moment the same place the same idea on tiptoe, spear piercing the sky, shuttering past from present. Choose a side even though choosing your team will bring with it a kind of death. All that un-chosen, the chaff. Children playing kickball, the dust from the field felting our throats, we are nine again, at recess again, we are the birds flying across the field watching children below us run the bases. We are running and flying, shedding hair and nails, soon it’ll be our bones, we are gorm-like, we yearn to be rid of earth’s final shagginess. We are fast. We may even taste the inside of clouds, so chin up, friend. There are feathers in our mouths, and the spoke word will set the flame.

Donna D. Vitucci has been publishing since 1990. Her first poem, “SNOWFLAKES,” written in fifth grade, still trips easily off her tongue. Dozens of her stories, poems and slices of memoir can be found in print and online, most recently in Spring 2022 Memoryhouse (University of Chicago). Read selected publications, and information about her four novels, at: