Portrait of Missing Women with Wings

Mary Ardery

Try this: hold a moth in the damp cave
of your mouth. The wings beat faster,
a beige blur, quickening. A record rate
of beats per minute: too many to count.
It’s fragile, this frenzy. Something paper-
thin sweeping your hard palate’s flesh.
A thing your teeth could tear.

Mary Ardery is from Bloomington, IN. You can find more of her work in Unlost Journal, Hobart, and Parks & Points. She is currently pursuing an MFA at Southern Illinois University. Visit her at maryardery.com.

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