the embryo boys

are identical

but reversed

mirror images

of each other


in two shells

their tiny fingers

grapple with their

membrane coverings

and tear them off

with minute, popping noises

suddenly they sprout wings

little, wet wings

which they shake

in the crisp air

the boy babies dry quickly

then stand in their walnut shells

and flicker their wings

but when they try to fly

their feet are stuck in goo

egg-yolk stuff

I help the Russian woman

free the feet

of the winged boys

both of them jump

out of their shells

and stand in the palm of my

outstretched hand

I cry with delight

when they fly

into the morning air

I stumble after them

through the wet field

they land on the back of a cow

and stand there

chattering to themselves

before flying off again

to a stream


being not much bigger

than an insect

they can walk

on the water

their feet

making saucer depressions

in the glistening liquid

I step into the stream

to follow them

but I sink into mud

an avalanche of black

which I realise is

the Russian woman's skirts

I flow through seams

and sorrows

tossed in sliding mud

stones bruise my legs

I lose balance

slip face-first into mud

choke and cry

then I'm falling

in a galaxy of pink rocks

chunks of candy sparkle

mauve rainbows

glow around

my feet

feel like lead

and the rest of me




till I land in a warm, dry place

it's a walnut bed

I chortle like a baby

as the top half of the walnut

like a roof with a hinge

closes over me

and I am left

in brown