Don’t Tell Me I Can’t Fly

by rachel

Pull your knees as tight to your body as possible,
Curl in towards yourself,
Inch to the edge of your parents’ bed, a suspended cannonball.

You see, when I was younger,
I swear, that was how I flew.
It wasn’t so much flying
as a gentle bobbing through space.

Letting air run through the hollows of my knees,
Elbows, nooks in my spine,
Like a puppet doll
pulled up by invisible strings that
I could control myself.

Five-year-old marionette,
I am lifted
Off the bed, above the floor, above myself.
I can feel, or rather
I can not feel the weightlessness running through me

A slight tilt to the right sends me
Spinning through the lacquered doors,
Straight down the hallway,
I am racing, I am learning, I am flying

I am
Falling.

You see, when you grow older,
People tell you, you cannot fly.
You are not a bird.

They tell us in science that
birds can fly because their bones are hollow.
My bones might be weighted with the expectations of being
human but I am hollow in other ways.

I am hollow,
in the way summer air filled with light is still hollow
I am hollow,
in the way laughing flutes echo their tunes
I am hollow, in the way that only a person who wants to fill her insides with the world,
is hollow.

I am full,
I am hollow,
I am empty,
I am packed.

Air runs through the hollows of my knees,
Elbows, nooks in my spine,
Like a puppet doll
pulled up by invisible strings that
I can control myself.

The next time anyone tells you you cannot fly,
Tell them they just don’t know you yet.

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