The Archaeopteryx Dreams of Flight

by Nicholas Yingling

Could I stop this? How could I

fold inhale into exhale and breathe air too

thin for fire or touch this earth

with only a shadow, feeling each root

wither in my jaw, each scale wild

as a frond, my heart growing and growing

faster until all that holds the chest together

is a wish, and not know

I’m trading one dimension for another?

How did it begin? As display? As a fall

so quiet and slow you could dress

the feather from the wing

and make of it a currency, a culture,

or some other magic.


Nicholas Yingling's work can be found in The Missouri Review, 32 Poems, Pleiades, Colorado Review, and others. He is a graduate of UC Berkeley and UC Davis and currently lives in the San Fernando Valley, where no one's sure why he would want to recover from an eating disorder.