Breathing. Clouds. Space Bodies

This is a piece of found poetry that I stitched together from one of my student’s reading assignments at school. On the ground I spotted an essay cut up into three sections, one on breathing, another on clouds and the last on space bodies. The sound and images of these titles together was something I instantly connected with and considered to be quite beautiful and thus this little ditty was conjured up.

Breathing. Clouds. Space Bodies
Written by Chelsea Marie Hicks

Bodies made of frozen gas and dust,
meteors in an orbit,
stretch out across the sky,
immerse yourself in the towering cloud:

You are ready to practice regular breathing.

Legs tucked, curl like a feather
composed of crystals in an atmosphere burning,
sink into the satellite’s arms and glide forward:

This is called floating.


A month of stories…Day #1

Conversations With Cumulonimbus
Written by Chelsea Marie Hicks

Kneeling in waiting for what sunshine never brings, the skin of her knees ache from indentations made by tiny fractures of what was once boulders, though more likely than not the pieces leaving marks that she brushes away merely belonged to rocks not so infinite or destructive in size.

Greeting heels to the dry, sheltered ground, there comes a strike sharp like an axe splitting a portion of tree trunk, and even she is surprised by the ringing in her ears that are her footsteps.

Daddy never told her to pray to god, so she didn’t, but sometimes she conversed with the clouds hoping that maybe today they would ease up on the rain. She’s held talks with cumulonimbus for weeks now, yet the sky refuses to understand the discomfort that comes from shoes and socks sopping muddy, a feeling like grape jelly filling in the spaces between wheat bread pores but leaving a mess on cracked linoleum floors much worse and smelling less like sugar and more like earth.

Mommy never mentioned that when they came, the rains wouldn’t stop. Perhaps that’s why she can only be found sinking in the sea, constantly confusing the actions of floating and falling, swimming and sinking. It wasn’t always like this, she remembers.

Though these are lies we often tell ourselves while trying to sleep at night.

With thick, muddy water filling in her shoes, making them deceptively heavy, the sky grows darker until it shatters and the glass drops fall to the sea and soil, cold and slightly brittle, and it is then that she wonders what would happen if she just stayed here. Even if the water reached her knees and then her chest and then neck and up over her head; even if her body sank into the mud until her pelvis felt the dark, oily slime; even if it all somehow hardened and water separated from soil and her limbs stiffened and then her whole body became the kind of art that decorates fountains. She wondered all of these things for so long that she stayed.

The sun never came and the earth never hardened and the girl never sank, but her skin always stayed damp and her feet never learned how not to be muddy.

The Sunset Tree

Written by Chelsea Marie Hicks

Do you ever just stare at the sky and piece together the puzzle of the clouds? I still remember the first time I saw a ship sailing along the cerulean sea up above. The sight only lasted but a moment as the marshmallow fluff morphed into sharp, defined edges and a sail appeared, jutting outward for only my eyes to see. The image dissolved quickly, as most of these formations do, and floated onward as a feather joining forces with the low hanging cumulus faintly visible in the distance. I thought for certain I would become a sailor or an astronaut when I grew up. I would have done anything to be closer to that surreal blue that only the sky or the sea could contain. I don’t think I’ve ever seen that hue a second time; the sky just seemed to fade to a permanent shade of grey after that. I suppose it’s a good thing that grey is my favorite color then.