Miriam Calleja International Poetry

Shining Cuckoo

Remember the time you told me about the meaning
behind your hummingbird tattoo?

How intently, and seriously,
we took each other then

With silence comes space
that confuses the memory

The cuckoo is different
It is nasty, and not many know this

And yet we use it to tell the time
has come to make new friends

Look at the way I froze after you
left me with so much left unsaid

Look at the way they’ll find me
in museums. Looking whole

as though you’d never broken
me into tiny pieces.


You remind me
that I was
with my back
to the world

deaf to your lament

Listen, you said
listen to me.

Then you were silent
as though my attention
was all that your wanted.

I listen to your fingertips
trace a path, waiting.

The weight lifts
with blue.

Cold as this room
December has been kind
I look underneath it
shadows drop, never
really there.

Draw a pattern then,
escape with your weight
upon me, as I lean in.

Listen, I said
listen to me.

Moa Egg

look how it moves


how it moves me

with its slow reluctance

to be in the same space

with me

how it never turns its back

but never looks directly

how it protects its space

nonchalantly flapping

there is a nervousness beneath

its wings, like a mumbled song

a hurried prayer, escaping

how it flits and furrows

filling a space almost smaller

than its entire body

how it prepares to lay an egg


trying to place it where i cannot

how it closes the air around itself

zipping the molecules


About the contributor

Miriam Calleja is the bilingual author of poetry collections Pomegranate Heart (EDE Books, 2015) and Inside Skin (a two-book series in collaboration with a lith photographer, EDE Books 2016). She has been published in a number of journals and poetry anthologies worldwide, and her work has been translated into Slovene, Greek, Romanian, French, Norwegian, and Frisian.

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