first remember the folded self
paper layers           a nesting
being unfulfilled           perhaps
there is a bird thereat the center
goldfinch           eager
at the window, wings blurring
to shadow           unsolid

when you began you were budded
shut           fist you           were
tourmaline           tight bound
and mineral, casting prisms
at the walls, the forest world
around you

the world now           machine gun
seraphim civet
and pipeline shovel and
basket of           heavy
what it is           heavy
on your shoulders

but you           are still           unfolding

Ambalila Hemsell is a writer, musician, and educator from Colorado. She holds an MFA from the Helen Zell Writers’ Program at the University of Michigan. She was a 2015-2016 Writer-in-Residence at InsideOut Literary Arts in Detroit. Her poetry can be found in RipRap Literary Journal, and is forthcoming in The American Literary Review, Virga, and Ruminate.

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