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(Photo credit: This poem was inspired by German artist Ruprecht von Kaufmann‘s piece, Die Flucht von Ogigya 2014.  http://rvonkaufmann.com/home/)

 

All of myself fell out

Into atmosphere

With no gravity to

Keep me there

I spun

Like a Ferris Wheel

Rolling away

Picking up speed and

Dizzying vomit spilled

From my mouth and

From my heart

The contents of which

Died on the way out

Poured all over the concrete

Where people passing by

Slipped

Tripped

Because they were subject

To the pull

The Earth’s center

Kept them steady while I

Rolled and rolled

Away.

 

 

In a moment of sense

I jumped from my seat

And flew toward

The clouds

Thick with rain

Withholding liquid inside

Like my eyes

Holding tears

Because tears floating up

Make no sense

It’s like a dance

With your head on the ground

Your feet in the air

And silence instead of music—

Tears are a waste of time

In this floating

Of mine

No time

To stop

So I continued

My journey

Into space

A safe and quiet place.

 

 

Halfway there

A memory

Came to me

Occurred to me

One thing below

I could not let go

I panicked

Grabbed onto a star

Prayed to the moon

To change the tide

To let me glide

Slowly

Like a bird

Gently

Like a bee

Quickly

Like a stone

Down

Was the only way

To regain

What was lost

No time

To count the cost.

 

 

A vessel came

Careening away

From an alien bay

Where boats and dreamers

Cannot stay

I borrowed its gravity

Held tight with all my

Might and

Depravity

We glided

Sailed

Drifted

Fell

Back to the Earth

Where my recollections

Lived and

Life promised to give

Something real

Instead of stale

Something broken

But broken is okay

As long as it is

Real.

 

 

On my way

Slipping back

A bird

On the downward side

Of the atmosphere

Saw my need

Picked up his speed

Pulled me through the ozone and

Like a friend

Listened to my tale

Inhaled

My exhaled tearless

Cry

Hidden behind a vale

Of numbness

Breathless songs

Sounding more like

Cymbals and like gongs

Loud

Impatient drums

Telling stories from my heart

Divulging what I could not

Impart.

 

 

Once again

Under a violet sky

My friend lead the way

To a place I could stay

Lent me gravity

Injected it

Into my feet

I stood upright

On the street and

Watched

The last of the Ferris Wheel

Roll away

Like a creature

Escaping its prey

Like pain

Stray and

Homeless

Running—

And I walked

In the opposite direction

Saw my reflection in

Windows I passed and

Recognized myself.

 

 

The moment emerged

Called to me

From St. Michael’s clock

When it was

The time

The hour

The minute

The second

To face

The clarion memory

That called me back

To the soil

From which my flying feet

Preferred to escape—

I headed East

To seek my peace

Wet

With sweat and

Fear and maybe

Doubt and yet

The time—

Ticking like a bomb or

Like a wristwatch.

 

 

I walked through the door

As he sat on the floor

Surprised to see me

There

Not prepared—

Neither he nor I

To my surprise—

And I waited for the words

To appear

Invisible they stayed

Because words know

When to speak

And when to

Silently pray

For a better way

To express the truth

They melted into the

Slats of wood

So I was naked with

No sword

No armor except

The reason I came,

And so stumbled my tears.

 

 

I sat

With my plea

Felt my safety

Beneath me—

Words—

Thought in colors

Instead

Purple

Yellow

Red

Then in images

Tucked away

Then in music

Then

Touch

The touch of his hand

My scattering thoughts

Stilled

Gathered into one

No other place

I would rather be

Finally

Gravity.

 

copyright Jill Szoo Wilson

 

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