Swimming in Contrails

Image of Long Story Short Award - Fall 2020
Image of Poetry
I remember when my eyes opened
the second time. I turned up the music

how it harmonized with my heart.
Swimming now with gills

I see stingrays on all fours.
A cocktail of addiction,

I board ships on magenta shores.
I eat the purple raspberries

sleepwalkers laud as good.
I crave what quickens heartbeat, like

the touching of tongue when we say love,
or we act it—that which makes

Time erupt into cinder,
book leaf into flame:

I dunk thunderclouds like the sun,
thunderbolts flashing through my skull.

Helicopter blades slice
through my chest. I am an ice cube

set alone; soon to be mist.
I am so glad to be awake

to have this second chance. I love too much
not to want to die the best.

I forget my eyes will never open
to see stingrays in a third light.

I never get used to being alive: