Valediction

by N. M. Courtright

I.

Here are no ancestors, only scorpions, and they fall from the trees like dead leaves with their fists clenched, and where we came from is forgotten for a while. Inside the carcass of a burned house all the floor left is draped in ashes, the wind picking them up and putting them down like a moon. Where the vacated stay, a trapeze artist fears the earth.

II.

The past we suppose is gravity.
Clutch those arms to your chests.

III.

Although Orion looks small enough through a single eye to fight, if one chose to his gasses would explode outward from between the clouds until we’d all be blown from the ground and then when in flight our arms would make airplane wings and we’ll see first the sidewalks getting smaller and then the streets getting smaller and then the cities, each of their blazing squares of yellow and orange light getting smaller and smaller and the sound we’ll hear will be the voice of a young soprano with her hands folded and she’ll sing in foreign tongues all the answers and even though we won’t understand we’ll understand and when we shout even Orion will listen.

Copyright © 2006, N. M. Courtright

Image Credit: NASA,ESA, M. Robberto (Space Telescope Science Institute/ESA)
and the Hubble Space Telescope Orion Treasury Project Team

N. M. Courtright, an Ohio native, currently resides in Austin, Texas. His poetry has recently appeared or is forthcoming in The Diagram, Caketrain, Scrivener’s Pen, Dirt, The Pebble Lake Review, and The American Drivel Review.