Human Flight Is Not As Dream Flight
Human flight is not as dream flight. In dreams
we soar / we glide / we slip our mortal coil for a night
or an hour. We are a buoyant floating filled with noble gases.
Our bodies trail behind like strings of a circus balloon
released by a child curious to see how high it goes.
The daylit body must be launched into the sky with grunts
and lurching. Best to hurl yourself, heart in your mouth
off a cliff / an edge / a mountain. Or toss yourself from the lip
of a high-rise, suicidelike, until bones and ligaments expand
in painful creaks, flexing out from your scapulae
fleshy wings like a bat’s, blue-veined and leathered.
Wings are ours from birth—fairy gift from some uninvited guest
whose blessings land like curses. Forever folded on our backs
in origami intricacy: a hitchhiker’s luggage never laid down.
Naked, perched in the penthouse window
or at the flat expanse’s edge, where the yawning canyon beckons—
I breathe / I fling / I fall / I pray.
With luck—with aching or with bleeding grief—my wings
unfold. Membrane sticking first to itself as the body plummets
until screaming tendons at last like sails unfurling,
and with each muscled pulse of bone grinding bone
agonized heart battering ribs
Back to ground, heavy on my feet, dragging wingtips
like untidy laundry shoved into my shirt.
Wings once expanded decline to fold again into original sizing.
Not all decide ever to attempt this leap. Some later take a handsaw
to the juncture, splitting bone and blood, tossing their angelic remnants
to burn in a backyard trash heap, final glowing embers extinguished
with the dregs of an upended bottle.