by Richard Fein

It was all pain at first,
a throbbing under the shoulder blades,
two lumps erupting from the flesh
growing with cancer-like exuberance.
He could no longer sleep on his back
even when sleep was possible.
First the tips appeared,
pink and finger-like, thoroughly ridiculous.
No doctor would have believed it; he didn’t himself.
His doorbell was no longer answered.
Letters fell out of the stuffed mailbox; flyers piled on the doorstep.
The tips became wings. Wings grew silvery feathers.
A metamorphosis from the freakish to the majestic.
And then he climbed to his roof.
Below him the authorities were beating down his door.
But above, there on the roof he became so poised,
but poised for what—
Soaring eagle or Icarus? Ascending Gabriel or fallen Lucifer?
Miraculous ascension or flight of fancy?
All he could do was flap his fledgling wings and jump.

Richard Fein was a finalist in The 2004 New York Center for Book Arts Chapbook Competition. A chapbook of his poems was published by Parallel Press, University of Wisconsin, Madison. He has been published in many web and print journals such as Cordite, Cortland Review, Reed, Southern Review, Roanoke Review, Birmingham Poetry Review, Mississippi Review, Paris/atlantic, Canadian Dimension, Black Swan Review, Exquisite Corpse, Foliate Oak, Morpo Review, Ken*Again, Oregon East, Southern Humanities Review, Morpo, Skyline, Touchstone, Windsor Review, Maverick, Parnassus Literary Review, Small Pond, Kansas Quarterly, Blue Unicorn, Exquisite Corpse, Terrain Aroostook Review, Compass Rose, Whiskey Island Review, Oregon East, Bad Penny Review, Constellations, and many, many others.