We dance on a spinning log that spins too fast and then we get erased. The red and yellow leaves tickle at first, then burn all the way down our throats when they fall. Who will grease our arms for the ones we love? We release them to white bedsheets first, then to a blanket made of earth. They slip through no matter how much we hoard their ruby fire and wind. How curious to see the empty lantern inside the casket no longer hissing, to feel my phantom spirit tear through flesh and hurl itself into her arms to sleep the last sleep with her after so many nights in the tropics. What if we snapped and did it, hurled ourselves into the casket chasing after that flare of spirit that’s already made the leap? Who would drag us back into the open air to dig our claws into the blue curtain of this world? See here this endless drip, these drops of fire that fell from the heavens and lodged in each of us. Some mornings we wake to find at the ends of our wrists paintbrushes instead of fingers. We rise with the sky father to paint and kiss each rooftop good morning. Sweet joy with all of these shattered feathers in our mouths. We hover over our dead, knock softly at that door, or bang our fists at the earth, this is to ignite the heart that once tapped its foot in time to the music in our chests. We make behind our ribs a kind of church where the candles burn like children in a fallout shelter. What we say to the snapping wind is this: Even you aren’t allowed in here. And we bundle those children under our coats like any mother would.
– John Rybicki