"Wings" by Ingrid L. Taylor

Updated: Mar 13, 2021


The child wonders why the cicada’s eyes are red when hers are blue

if the sky they fall under flushes like a welt on the skin

like a fire

like a rose

if color means the same thing

and what it’s like to live

inside a crimson song

And learns early to seek the speck on the horizon

to watch for the cloud and the darkening drop

understands to call the thing


and never visitation

the way they husk and shell their lives

on the concrete, and the pulses

of their iridescent wings still

like a heart muscle grown weary and strained

The child wonders why some mornings she wakes as a bruised fruit

turned just past sweetness

Though she has no wings to speak of

she is certain her feet lift from the earth when she walks

she does not know that a rock and a stone can be two different things

and in time, everything is left to the flies

One day her throat will open to join the humming chorus

to thrill and float and dive and finally to rest

among the graveyard of carapace and wing

She wonders

if a song is a color that must be answered

why they sing as they die


Ingrid L. Taylor’s stories and poems have appeared in the Horror Writers Association Poetry Showcase volumes VI and VII, Zooscape, Legs of Tumbleweed, Wings of Lace: An Anthology of Literature by Nevada Women,Gaia: Shadow and Breath, vol.3, and others. When she’s not writing, she works as a veterinarian for an international nonprofit. For news about her writing and adventures with her animals, find her on Instagram @tildybear.

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