ALL THE WAYS IT COULD GO DOWN
Kate Henry

            The wings bending in a delicate
arc of fire, how the masks will dangle
            in our faces
                                   ineptly.

                                        You tell me that fear
is only the ghost inside of me
                    pulling at my brainstem. I say I’m thinking
of a nose-dive into dust, how the parts of us
         could end up separated and co-mingled at the same time,
                             my legs and my fear-pills turned to powder
and melted plastic on the side of a hill, your hand with mine,
but the rest of you not. 

 Problems with flying include: germs, too much touching,
bad food, the pilot that might plow us into
                                                   the ocean and how
         I’m a poor swimmer. 

             The brain in overdrive is such that the body
begins to experience chest pressure and sweat, the two 

                 passengers on either side of me weeping with faces tucked
between knees. 

This is the part where you stop listening.   

           Juliane Koepcke was the sole survivor of a crash over Peru, the product
                            of lightning 

          she clawed her way out, she knew how to put maggots
out with gasoline. She was the one who 
                                        survived, she survived alone. 


Kate Henry lives, writes and works in the Pacific Northwest. Her poems have appeared in the Raleigh Review, the Columbia Review, and Bateau, among others.