Unedited Workshop Poems: Float & Sink


This is my strip.
This is my landing strip that I built by hand
With scissors and glue and colored pencils
My strip
A place where I intend to land that I made myself
Almost like a nest
Not to fall out of
Nor do I want to launch from
I seek to come down upon
Nestle in
And make for myself a resting
Flying has been exhausting
My wings are worn
My beak is broken
My span is decreasing with each flap
from trying to eagle, trying to parakeet, trying to humming-bird
“You can be a penguin” they tweeted
“You could still be bird and not fly.”
But I’ve imagined myself swimming
Or climbing
Taking my wings off for a spell
And not birding at all
Though, I know I’d regret it
Not miss it but regret
Start to resent my strip
It’s edges cut unevenly
It’s color two shades too dark
It’s surface conjoined and jagged
And I’d start to want
For sky
For wind
For being enveloped in effortless strutting
They’re both blue you know
The sky and the ocean
Except one is mimicking
wanting to be just like the other


I won’t say I’m drowning
You wouldn’t want me drowning
But I am having a hard time breathing
There’s enough air but I don’t have the lung capacity
My lungs are balloons and I’m at the mercy of a child at a carnival
Tie me to her wrist.
Force me to stay near her so even when she’s found cotton candy and teddy bears and ducks to shoot at
I weigh her down just a little
Remind her that she’s held responsible for the unpleasant things
And I am at her mercy.
That I feel everything she bumps into
That I float above her
not in the sky
In the ocean
Drowning just above her head
Not drowning
Quick sanding
Mosh pitting
Remind her that
Nothing about me floats
Until I’m deflated
And I’m okay with that
Just hide me in the pages of an old book or on the shelf in a closet
And remember why you picked me among the other flying things
in the first place


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