Levitating Mothers by Lindsay Clark

Levitating Mothers

More and more I’m a spider
dropping from the ceiling, silent,
in a draft
the dragline I milk
from my liquid core
becoming microscopic in the
melting rays of early afternoon.
To my eyes the kaleidoscoped
child inscrutable: many-faced
elf crawled from burnt leaves
driven indoors by the heat
wondering perhaps do
spiders fly an instant
before the fickle
fist crunches.
When I had a body fit for
empire—before I cast
organics from my
abdomen—I spilled with other
jumping spiders from the belly
of military planes. In a crowded
column of air, the lower chute
has right of way; now,
swaying in a thermal, I
see my own spider-mother
revolving below and I
will her to climb.
But her legs are weary. She is
still pulling
still hurling
a silken lifeline—to my eyes no longer
invisible, but a thick vessel pulsing
with light, umbilical cord drinking
the womb of the sun.


Lindsay Clark is a medical student in NYC, where she lives with her partner and daughter. She previously served as an army paratrooper and studied biology at the University of Maryland.

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