About a month ago, and old friend of mine asked me to write her a poem with the title "Breaking up is hard to do". I don't write too many poems these days, but this seemed like a challenge.
I'll be honest, I dunno what made me think of space shuttle Columbia when I first saw that title, but, well, I did.
Breaking up is hard to do
You clamp down your helmet,
a fireball in the deep.
Your belt forms a cross across your chest.
If you have been falling for weeks,
you couldn't know it: Your circle
carves a pivot anchored in void.
There is no safety net.
You have tipped your weight into the clouds.
This was the time to end it,
this was the time to come home.
This was how you spent your wish,
finished from the start.
You couldn't have known.
This poem ends like a snowflake.
It is easy to ignore the way your wings yawn back,
the tickle of fire under your chest.
You ignore it, the smell of melting wax,
the alarms, the quaking white sky.
You pretend not to notice the nagging
The wind opens you up.
You explode somewhere over Texas, your bones
snapped on the knee of the sky.
Your helmet is found melted into the grass
of the only abandoned Seven Eleven
in Sandy Creek, Texas.
Two children stand hand in hand in a wood,
their tongues outstretched.
You are coming home.