The Ingredient

By Ayla Goktan

Every bird poem sends me

to the same place: the cliff

miles past the petrol station

where my ex and I bought coffee

on our way to Dunmore Head.

Driving parallel to the Atlantic shore,

we saw above the water a bird—

storm petrel or shearwater—

suspended on the wind’s treadmill,

beak aimed at our rental car.

Sid called it a miracle

and pulled over, took a photo

of me looking over the edge

after the bird was gone,

when the mediocre yellow sunset

had worn a thin place

between bands of gray—

a day that, absent my nostalgia,

is hardly worth remarking on at all.

Ayla Goktan studies poetry at Boston University. She has lived on both coasts, in the Midwest, and in Ireland, and her work often explores the meaning of place in our lives. In her free time, she likes to do yoga, eat ice cream, play the flute, and laugh at memes.