Rachel Bunting lives and writes near the Pine Barrens of South Jersey. Her poems have been included in both Best of the Net (Sundress Publications) and Best of the Web (Dzanc Books) anthologies, and her work can be found in print and online journals including Muzzle Magazine, Tuesday: An Art Journal, PANK, Toad, Linebreak, and Weave Magazine.
When you die you take your body off, hang it up
like a favorite suit. Be truthful about this: it isn't
the dying that worries you, rather the body being
alone. But your hands are raised, you have faith
in the principles of science. Heliocentricity, cosmic
expansion, thrust and drag, weight and lift. Some
ideas just make sense. It's simple: you get on
the plane. Then you get off, one way or another.
Some of the time the choice is made for you.
You ask which star in the sky used to be me?
When did I explode? But it's hard to think like
this. You prefer to think about a falcon, its sleek
body splitting the air like an arrow, seeking not
the ground but a different body, turning inside
out the lightness of another bird's bones. Keep
watching, you'll see the next moment is a miracle:
wings folded back, a sudden turn in mid-air, dark
shape dropping to the formless sea. And finally
a singular, stunning silence.
I wrote this after Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 disappeared. I spend a lot of time examining the things I fear through my writing, and the idea of something so large and powerful simply vanishing from existence was both terrifying and compelling for me. It also made me think about how humans spend time trying to harness the natural world for our own benefit, with varying levels of success.
Glass: A Journal of Poetry is published monthly by Glass Poetry Press.
All contents © the author.