A Poem from My Forthcoming Collection Church of Needles

The Art of Flying

 

Apply intent like gentle pressure

to a wound. Superfluous maybe,

but the arms should be extended.

First, a height scaled, a precipice

achieved. Read: a jumping off place.

Try to let go, get heavy

as when you pass from this world

to the other, nightly— chain

breaching a flimsy wall. To rise up,

you must sink like a tonnage of links.

Recognize your intent, but obliquely,

through a half-closed eye. Bow to gravity

as the noose you’ll be slipping.

To join the hollow boned

you’ll have to cast your body down,

cast it off like a wedge of sunlight sliding

from the wall, like the fly

giving its husk to a hook and a nylon line.

But you’re not tethered and you’re not

weightless. So plummet.

Invest not in flight, but falling.

The most you can do is believe

air is measured in fathoms

and bottomless, that earth is a myth

created by birds who would kill for a rest.

The Art of Flying first appeared in Comstock Review

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