Illustration by Katelyn Bernardo

Perhaps

By Ariel Smith

Perhaps a yowling wind will take me tonight, oh how I hope it does.

If only the wind was strong enough

to hold my sorrows.

I’d be lifted from earth as an angel, given to the clouds on a

golden platter: an offering. But even offerings are supposed

to be of the finest creation. So on the ground

my feet remain planted. But perhaps

the ground might want me, the earth and the layers of dirt

and rock below. Maybe I could crawl

with the worms, only surfacing when the powerful rains

come and flush me out.

When the earth is filled with

rain and sun and life;

only then I come back from the depths of the earth as a version

of life only just remade. How would it feel to be new? I imagine

jumping from bliss

to innocence, then back again. But no, the earth won’t have me

either, I am made of flesh, I will not sink. So above ground I must

stay. Perhaps the oceans will take me, and I will be washed

away: cleansed and bathed. Oh how I’d like to lose myself to it.

To feel so numb

to the touch that nothing could impact me, but I cannot float, my feet

are chained to the land. If I could only touch the water, give it

permission to take me, but I cannot. The water acts as though a

tsunami is on the rise and it recedes as I approach. I’m chasing

movement: I’m drowning on land, and

my sweet, sweet oxygen is lost to the sea. Perhaps no one will

have me. Perhaps, at the end of the day, it’s just me.