Sara Backer

The trees are moving closer to our house.
My husband reads by the window as leaves look in,
inches from his face. I feel pressured.
Leaves—fully deployed, dark green—hold on tight.
Songbirds, fledged, have little need to sing.
Insects dominate the pulse of night, determined
to breed before they die.
Cherry branches grapple with magnolia.
Rhododendrons reach for me through railings.
I can’t quite breathe right, my heart congested, everything
growing bigger, closer. Through layers above layers of leaves,
I can no longer believe in the sky.

Sara Backer’s first book of poetry, Such Luck (Flowstone Press 2019) follows two poetry chapbooks: Scavenger Hunt (dancing girl press) and Bicycle Lotus (Left Fork), which won the Turtle Island Poetry Prize. Her poems have appeared in Abyss & Apex, Asimov’s, Bracken, Dreams & Nightmares, The Pedestal Magazine, Silver Blade, Crannóg, and more.