June 2015 by Yan San

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I couldn’t kiss the ground
and by the time I’d thought to do it,
it was too late.

Instead, I placed my hand
flat down on navy-colored carpet
of the airlock,
sent my heart
down through the airlock floor
to home:
my touch, farewell.

The thrill of thrumming engines
taking off took me
to movies, marveling at
all the scattered scenery–
a blur of battered brimming,
shifting shades of blue.

A blur, it all:
the flight, the landing,
the lines, the standing,
the hands, the hugging,
height-to fall.

I remember I fell–

We arrived at the basement,
cold air staying with us,
drawn to our skin and our
shivering newness to this sterile place.

And there the haze fell
And I fell
And it came to me,
the silence screaming,
scratching clawing-
all is lost
is lost
my home.

I remember the tears
only now did they choose to
fall and by this time,
it’s too late.

Never again would I stand in the sun
feeling lemon grass snake-scratch
draw blood from my shins.
Never would I lock eyes with
my brother in all but blood.
Never would I smell the
freshly washed-sun-dried-wind-beaten
pillowcases.
Never more the sincerity of
all the identical faces
to mine–
All was lost.

They told me “it’s summer.”
It wasn’t to me.

Summer is MarchAprilMay
heat coiling up–made visible
felt and seen in the air.
Summer is outside, outside,
barefoot-warm ice-play.
Summer is lost.

The haze is lifted and here in all
clarity, knees on the basement–
wooden floor, here every point of the longest day-
Every hand to the ground to the
moving to wind to the leaving and
landing to baggage and claim to the
cold to the rain–condensed to a single
sharp line, stabbed through, pinning
me to the basement below all the blur.

I placed my hand
flat down on waxed wood,
sent my heart down
through the floor
and the pipes
and the core of the world
to the other side,
to my once-always home
and I’d have stayed that way
’til my body followed.

But cold bites
and bruises my knees
telling me,
reminding me that

I couldn’t kiss the ground
and by the time I’d thought to do it,
it was too late.

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