The Phoenix Ignores Our Expiration Date

Somewhere up high
the solar bird builds her nest
with twigs of cinnamon,
kindling to burn

the past—all five-hundred
years of it. Myths say
she has outlived nine
ravens, though

like other storied things
is remembered most for her
perishing: the blazing finale
and the smoke-clearing

encore of her return.
She births herself alone,
as well she might. Think
of how much we

could burn, sharing
immortality together.
A season is enough for us.
This autumn, we watch

trees give up their feathers
in shades of fire without harm,
as if to say: we know how to die
just a little
, let go

when needed, not in one
great immolation but
in communion
with an ordinary world—

one rosed over with losing,
rituals no less wondrous
falling from a mortal hand,
dreaming of a future green.





Angela Sucich holds a PhD in Medieval Literature from the University of Washington. Her poems and short prose have recently appeared in such journals as Nimrod International Journal, Cave Wall, Atlanta Review, and Whale Road Review. In 2021, she was honorably mentioned for the Pablo Neruda Prize for Poetry, and in 2022, her chapbook, Illuminated Creatures (Finishing Line Press, 2023), won the New Women’s Voices Chapbook Competition.

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