A Letter to a Pilot
WRITTEN BY JESSICA HSU
I want to fly,
But I cannot find my wings.
“once upon a time”
there were new wings
riddled with red and white
flapping and reaching for
“ready for takeoff”
ready for a high screech ringing out
my words garbled in the deafening
wind that twists them.
and twists those wings
“fasten your seatbelts”
to prepare for seeing the world’s beauty but all i see
are dots of what could be bigger
facts and numbers and
tell one tale
but the face that lands into my shattered thoughts
“please lower your tray tables”
to see a smeared face in blackness
my throat burning with unquenched flames from
that slides chillingly into my throat
the smell striking at every part of me with needle sharpness
Chokes and gags and glues my lips.
“we are almost there”
hands are almost touching
stomach caving and folding
i struggle but i am ordered to seal my mouth
with a brown, flimsy, four lettered labeled
too shallow to contain the dripping tangled wail
threatening to burst out of me.
“in ten minutes we will arrive”
at my reflection where i see eyes too dry and
i close them
yet droplets slide from tiny slits
leaving a trail of dizzying blue vapor
settling into me until my breath
is caught into my throat and
where is the water coming from?
So dear pilot,
I really do want to fly,
But the wings that you have given me have stripped away my own.