My mother is a quetzal bird.

Kryston Lopez

Yes, I mean resplendent. Yes, I mean she contains earth and sky.

But also my mother            is a quetzal bird:

she’s adorned the heads of serpents. Men I barely knew,

men she barely knew, who thought themselves gods

startled when she turned to a canyon at dawn

or slipped from their fists into a strange song heard through beryl fog.

Yes, I mean she carries the weight of an origin story on her back.

My mother (quetzal bird)

has skin and bones the color of pulque, but she birthed

this tiny canela-colored thing who wailed at her breast dipped in blood

red plumage. She’d say I am no one’s mother. I gave birth to the wind.

So I learned the divinity of vacancy, and how you cannot hold rare creatures.

My mother is a quetz-

                           al bird.

Hollow-flowered, with fertile beak where becalming tongue should be.

My mother

Yes, I mean

the shape breath also takes. Yes,

the quetzal bird.

Kryston Lopez is an emerging writer based in Indianapolis. Her work has appeared in High Shelf Press, Passengers Journal, and Porterhouse Review. You can find her on Twitter @krystonlopez, or on Instagram @krystoni_pepperoni.

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