This week, I’m so excited to be linking up with The Chronicles of Chaos’ Write or Die Wednesday. As I finished the poem I wrote in response to the prompt “What makes you uncomfortable?” I realized that I couldn’t wait to post it. Because who has patience? Apparently not I. I hope that you like it, and, also please go check out Mia’s blog!!
I think about Pluto and all the vast space between me and that tiny ball of light once deemed a planet.
I wonder how exactly it must have felt to initially discover something new.
To realize that a small freckle of energy in the sky is not a comet, or an asteroid, or a star in a different galaxy
or an imagination, or magic, or the light from a stranger’s flashlight miles and miles and miles out
but something moving around our sun
so cold and far away
and how it must feel for the status of being a planet to be taken, permanently removed
even though it’s years and years and years later
and Clyde Tombaugh is now gone.
I wonder how many nutter butters it would take to line up from here to Pluto
and if I stepped very lightly on that peanut-shaped cookie trail
could I walk myself to the end of the galaxy and back?
Or would one misstep, the wobbling of my heart
plummet me in to a black hole, the endless darkness of the universe.
And without gravity, would I float for mere seconds
before gray clouds scarred my vision and my mind turned off forever?
when the world feels really big
I go in my dungeon, the vast darkness of my mind
and I pull the levers of my brain
to make the world smaller
which always, never occasionally, takes me to the front porch of an Ohio home
when my age existed in single digits, and I knew all my neighbors’ names.
There was one neighbor who had the last name of a type of bird
one that was consistently hard to remember, even though I always did
and one night when I stared at their house on the corner of the street,
where cars would pass by from the main road,
there was one car that careened into the front window of their home
and when the ambulances arrived, the red light blurred my thoughts
and I never found out if the driver was alive.
I think about the first time you held me in your arms
and how I trembled from the pureness of it all.
The way we laid naked and young
baring ourselves against the sticky cloth of a basement couch
when I thought about if life will ever feel the same way again
or will I be forever bound to the memory of this moment
when death feels like high school graduation,
and when you asked me, and I said yes,
and I wasn’t innocent anymore?
I wonder how I will one day leave this earth
and if it will be a car wreck, or a terminal illness, or a peaceful escape near my 98th birthday, surrounded by a loving family, when my last gasp of breath will be taken from me
and in those last sixty seconds before light from a world beyond takes over
will scenes of Pluto, and flashing ambulances, and teenage sex flutter against the back of my eyelids
like pounding rain against the window sill
on the day when I first encountered all these uncomfortable thoughts
about whether we’re all quickly living or slowly dying?
And even though I knew absolutely none of the answers to the questions I was asking
I walked outside to my car parked on the street
and started driving with the windows down
and the rain still poured
and my favorite music was blaring
and the wind in my hair felt like your breath
and I knew exactly how it feels to really be alive.