"I wanted to hang myself. Of course it's impossible
because of the weightlessness."
Some creatures can die from gravity.
The beached whale suffers the weight
of its own organs, unbuoyed, and is crushed.
I wanted to overdose like that, die
an Earth addict, wedded to the round world
that I could only watch, appalled, as if
watching another man's fantasy. Absence
can be like that, birthing fanatical love.
The others looked at me sidelong and whispered
when I spent the days at the portholes
charting the wind skirling the planet
making shapes like a winking eye.
The razors were electric. Longing
the only poison. Each night I strapped myself
to bed like a grateful lunatic. Below,
the bastards dreamed of flying.
Colleen Abel is the author of Housewifery, a chapbook. A former Diane Middlebrook Poetry Fellow at UW Madison’s Institute for Creative Writing, her work has appeared in venues such as The Southern Review, West Branch, Notre Dame Review, Mid-American Review, Rhino, Cimarron Review, The Journal, Ploughshares’ blog and elsewhere. She is currently the Joan Beebe Graduate Teaching Fellow at Warren Wilson College.