She stands, body hitched to one side
as though her t-shirt covers a muscle pulled
from too many hours cutting in the ceiling
or feathering wet edges, rather than an incision stitched
too tight. The smears on her shirt do not remind her
of yellowing bruises or iodine stains.
Nor are they reminiscent of the indigo tattoos
saying Aim here, burn here, or of the blistered
crimson target. Her hands relax as though
they never gripped a handle for steadiness
during showers of streaming light, as though they
only ever held a paint brush or roller.
She nods as though her scarf hides nothing.
She smiles as though her eyes do not reflect
her covert journey, the dove sent out three times.
She remembers reading that, unlike most birds,
doves secrete a sort of milk to feed their young, and,
unlike humans, they don't require breasts to do it.
Karin Wiberg is a business consultant, writer, and managing editor of Raleigh Review Literary & Arts Magazine. She has poetry published or forthcoming in egg, riverSedge, and Petrichor Review. Originally from Iowa, Karin has a BA from Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, MN, and an MBA from the University of Iowa. She now lives in Raleigh, NC with her husband and three chickens.