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The megrim of migraine (Isabella)

Lisa Delan

I birthed you

            precious, perfect,

                        in suspended time,

                                    held high above the

                                                vulnerable earth

                                                            we two.


                                                            But gravity crooned

                                                her siren song

                                    and we drew near to listen,

                        her dangerous lullaby

            cradling us close

to the surface


until I could no longer deny the weight of our bodies.


The hovering air hung

            so thick my skull cracked –

                        but still I nursed your

                                    mewling heart, your

                                                pink bud mouth,

                                                            as bilious glass


                                                            (leaded, unyielding)

                                                 caged my head,

                                    and through its impenetrable wall

                        I adored you,

            while straining to see

through its beveled surface


                                    your beautiful translucent face.

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Lisa Delan is classical soprano specializing in American Art Song; performing, recording, and commissioning musical settings of an expansive range of poetry. She has recorded extensively for the Pentatone label and can be heard on Apple Music, Spotify, YouTube, and other streaming platforms. Her own poetry has appeared or will be featured in American Writers Review (San Fedele Press 2022), Beyond Words Literary Magazine, Burningword Literary Journal, Cathexis Northwest Press, Drunk Monkeys, Lone Mountain Literary Society, Mill Valley Literary Review, Poets Choice, The Pointed Circle, Tangled Locks, Viewless Wings, and Wingless Dreamer. In a "meeting of the spirits", Festival Napa Valley recently commissioned three classical composers to set Lisa's words to music, and the songs were premiered in July of 2022.

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