Madeleine Wattenberg


Madeleine Wattenberg’s work has recently appeared or is forthcoming in journals such as Best New Poets 2017, Fairy Tale Review, Tupelo Quarterly, Tinderbox Poetry Journal, and Mid-American Review. She regularly writes reviews for The Bind and is a PhD student in poetry at the University of Cincinnati.



Where the bird used to land—
you told me not to look
there anymore, that every migration
repeats itself as a vacancy
on the branch. And it’s true,
the leaf travels to the ground,
bark edges out the blades,
black branches cradle a solid
sky. This balance between foreground
and birdcall. This memory
a wing fled somewhere warm.
And maybe this advice is right,
that the body removed from the figure
and safe from the prisms of frost
lasts longer by the shore. Yet in emptiness,
the trees look full now,
so full the sky seems poised to break
every raised hand it rests in.