from THEN


Iím some sort of balloon child getting thrown around by wind breath as I float towards the ceiling of a narrow sky. There is no white light but I swear my teeth growl so fucking loud and explode but the storks canít fly and the planes canít listen. This is silly enough to laugh about and I do, deep laughs and I see a girl whose neck cracks open like a Pez dispenser. Fog rolls out or maybe music notes roll out and she floats with no wings and dragonflies have eaten my wings and the sky never looked so cherry raw. Bring me an adventure, Disney World was boring she says and my mouth doesnít work so I touch her fingers with all my fingers and I touch her hips with all my fingers and I touch her with all my fingers and then we are at the top of the sky, the very top of the sky and nothing is here but itís okay so we float off noting the absence of concrete and there are deer prints everywhere.


I wonder why there are no videogames here but decide itís not important because everything is kind of a videogame and anyway I can hold my lungs like a controller and press up, down, up, down, left, right, left, right, A, B, A, B, select, start and get fifty more chances to float anywhere with the girl and then weíre inside a tree with bark warped to our faces and there are windows so we watch squirrels hoard their golden acorns and I swear Iíve never been so happy. A great wave comes to carry us off to the middle of the ocean which is no different from anywhere else and I ask the girl if weíre coconuts and she says no, weíre fog or heavy skin. Iíve never been able to tell the difference. This makes so much sense my face falls apart like a canyon and the girl and I fly off into the canyon humming an old love song and every bit of darkness looks like dirt under my fingernails and the girl swears sheís never been so happy.


 My head falls off and out of the hole where my head used to be countless birds appear and stretch their wings to create new people from their loose feathers. Accountants, lawyers, convicts, telemarketers and the girl cradles each one between her arms and Iím finally a mother but I donít much care because the girl is a better mother so I let her raise the children while I arrange air above the ceiling fan into something resembling a smile. We take our family and fly north of everything that ever was to an icicle and I tell our kids today, today is the day I stitch together the wounds of a sailor and am awarded a gold medal and the people clap and clap and clap. Polar bears live next door and they donít like us at all and they throw snowballs at our children and they kill one or maybe two and we canít move because the sky at night looks so fucking beautiful when the stars are full of alcohol and comets are chain-smoking so one by one all our children die. We write their obituaries in the margins of stolen library books and tell anyone who asks that they hopped a train that was really a cloud and got lost.


David Greenspan is the author of the chapbooks i tried to bear the elephants and lost (NAP) and THEN (Turtleneck Press). His work has appeared, or will soon, in places like alice blue review, anti-, Safety Pin Review, Vinyl Poetry, and Whiskey Island. Find him online at