Poem: Maja Lukic

Illo for Maja Lukic's poem.


My greatest fear is falling from a great height,
or a window in a tall building like this one—
unintentionally or not.

I lay flat on the roof of my building,
cup my hands around my eyes. Pale
+ burning bones form an oval, a fenestra.

In an old song, a poet begs his love Selma
not to lean too far out the train window.
My father, incorrectly, said it was

about a girl who committed suicide,
but he was thinking of a different song
+ a different girl who jumped into a river—

that song is a Polaroid of a childhood
set to a sensitive needle scratching out
black circles + me twirling around

in a room in a building I never saw
again, which should be disturbing,
but it’s like an old friend.

Fenestra rotunda or cochlear fenestra,
a round window from the middle ear into
the inner ear, behind the oval window—

strange that our ears should contain windows,
a mechanism of rooms opening into other rooms—
windows allow us to hear music + move without falling—

that girl who never heard the song written
for her, that girl on the bridge, tipping
into the river, blades of cold water.

Above me, a blue cathedral dome,
sunlight funnels through the oculus.
The frame collapses, my hands slacken.
Maja Lukic’s work has appeared or is forthcoming in Colorado Review, Salamander, Western Humanities Review, Sugar House Review, Vinyl, The Moth, Prelude, and other publications. Links to selected pieces online are available at majalukic.com and she can be found on Twitter: @majalukic113.

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