After the Fall

The bough we clasped
while climbing towards
phantasmal blue
has broken—

we lie on concrete,
begging with a
shattered golden bowl.

A mere sieve to strain
mercy we cannot hold.

But hunger is ours.
We cradle insatiable want.
A taste we can barely conjure
from the stores of ash-coated tongue.

We long for the water struck
from rock—
flowing with memory of granite
and sleeping snows distilled.

Taste of the sweet flakes
floating
down through the soundless
universe—

Such beauty we pecked once,
as sparrows in a field—

unafraid, knowing the farmer
on whose land we alight
would crush the fox before
he could strike.

Jasmine Marshall Armstrong lives with her husband, Luke, in California’s Lompoc Valley. She is also an MFA candidate in poetry at California State University, Fresno.

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