OF TIDINGS - donna d. vitucci

Watch the girl girder the mid-December bridge. Instead of splash, she lifts; instead of plummet, she birds, skinny-legged stork lugging a backpack purse. Babies fill her throat. Her taste buds stir. Given half the chance, she'll eat her own. Her face is moon-like but even the moon can be cut off by a cloud.

Under threatening skies, still falling, the long fall, the fall of stories, fall of decades, shedding hope, she inhales through one nostril, exhales out the other, prayer gliding in a threadbare parka. She banks into the bath. She will drown before she spits. She will turn to fable. She will kiss the river and fan out face down, our angel. One big gulp. She, and all she's held back, or will never spew, expelled.

Minnows fuzz the froth, their fins kiss her, comprise an aura visible from space, from the highest-peaked Star in the East, and the deepest Hudson stones, blessing all, any, amen, while waiting, waiting. Even the fish suspend their faith.

We, we lean our camels in the direction of Herod, shoulders caved, hearts split over this cog in a wheel, one Jackson Heights girl among countless teens mulling bridges. We've a tale and we tell it in all the known languages, twitter, travel, move on, spilling the news and betraying our blood. We're eyewitnesses, and goddamn it, we'll tell the world what she couldn't, we make it ours, will testify in the flood-lit desert, in the terrifying, shiftless world. We will nod at His name. On hearing hers we shall bow. We cast palms on their paths. We will pass the word.