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 for myself
Almost like a nest
Not to fall out of
Nor do I want to launch from
I want                                                                                 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 imagined myself swimming
Or climbing
Taking my wings off for a spell
And not birding at all
Though, I know I’d miss it
Not regret it but miss
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                                                                         Up here
But I am having a hard time breathing
There’s enough air                                                       but I don’t have the lung capacity                            to keep breathing like this
My lungs are balloons and I’m at the mercy          of persons like this                                                           a child at a carnival
Tied to her wrist
Forced 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               even for the unpleasant things
And I am at her mercy.
I feel everything she bumps into
I float above her
not in the sky;
In the ocean
Drowning                                                                       just above her head
or not drowning
Quick sanding
Mosh pitting
Cocooning                                                                     Head first diving
Reminding her that
Nothing about me floats
Unless 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 drowning things
in the first place


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