A Poem by Marcy Rae Henry – Brancusi’s birds above Breckenridge


I haven’t been here since I lost my virginity

We watched Full Metal Jacket afterwards
He fell asleep before the first climactic moment

In the cabin, a book by a too-soft bed:
Perimenopause is process not illness   
     Women need 1-1.5 hours more sleep at night

Contract is agreement
The moment we contract disease
Something in the body agrees

I’ve spent 6,000 days of my life asleep
My body going on without me

Birds above open like artichokes
Head reduced to beak
A wing in flight

Years after the film I uncover the title’s meaning:
A bullet with a soft core, encased in hard metal

Holding their trajectory, the bullets have
Greater penetration against soft tissue

The sun sets and Breckenridge blues
I pick Wild Irises and put them in a room
Where no one will see them dying but me

(Editor’s note: At the request of Marcy Rae Henry, we have reversed the title and author name in the header to facilitate the seamless flow from title to text.)

Marcy Rae HenryMarcy Rae Henry is a multidisciplinary artist, una Latina de Los Borderlands y parte de la LGBTQ comunidad. Her writing has received a Chicago Community Arts Assistance Grant, an Illinois Arts Council Fellowship, a Pushcart Prize nomination and first prize in Ember Chasm/Suburbias’s 2021 Novel Excerpt Contest. DoubleCross Press will publish her chapbook We Are Primary Colors this year.