His hallway sprint is a loss of control;
an art assigned to stability onsocks
sliding smoothly against squares of tile;
hands trembling, unable tohold up atmosphere;
searching for a hug to wring fear like dirty water
froma rag. His eyes are chrysanthemums
bursting in time-lapse photography when hesees
airplanes cut the sky like steak knives;
blue bleeds juicy unrest,rains on his head,
and wings push clouds to corners of the sky like
a pickyeater who moves
mashed potatoes around a plate.
I wish I could swallowairplanes
like little pills; to allow each one to explode
in my stomach andto digest the burning fuselage
of 747s that crash past my teeth,
but theback of my throat tightens
and I force my mouth shut,
pretending thatairplanes are eternally
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.
This piece won the October 2002 Teen Ink Poetry Contest.