Before Becoming

by Susanna Mayer


Before, I was a falcon
coughing up bones
at the feet of God
who rewarded me
by telling me the names
of things – the name
for the first scream
after birth, for the smoky
scent of need, for the heat
given off by blood.
I think I had to jump
to get here, and meant
to hold hard
to a branch and stare
down the length
of the shadow I cast, but
I dropped head first,
and when I could
stand, found I no longer
had wings or talons,
and needed the bones
I’d thought I could
sell for words.




Susanna Mayer is currently working towards an MFA in poetry at Texas State University, and she work as a proofreader for the Texas Legislative Council in Austin, TX.