if i was Eurydice.
Orpheus knew we'd never go to space.
It was in the way he wanted to fly.
Bony arms sprawled to a six foot reach,
he'd sprint circles around his father's grave
to kick up a storm greater than Nevada
has ever seen. A Midwestern tornado
would lift him out the atmosphere,
and somewhere out there,
his limbs will grow to terrifying lengths
to lean back down and bring me with,
but I've already planted myself here.
i'd never look back.
The alternatives I proposed,
whenever he'd land back down,
made our promise rings all-purpose.
The dandelions we tied to our knuckles
(doing cartwheels in the courtyard)
could be a lasso or a noose.
We'd be able to drag the moon down
and use it as coffee table decoration.
To Orpheus, everything was paperweight;
He pulled orbits with his own hands.
it didn't mean anything to him, though,
if he couldn't see the color in space.
I knew I'd be amazed by the blacks and blues
We'd swim in for the rest of our lives.
I just wasn't meant to be an astronaut.
and under his breath, I think he knew,
how he'd talk about what was beyond
and only that for the time we had left.
why did Eurydice
Then, he met another airhead.
And then, I died my first death.
decide to look back?
To him, it was unceremonious.
Strapped with bottle rockets,
my engines malfunctioned;
sending my limbs across the street.
What nobody told me is this:
The doors of the underworld
look awfully like garden beds,
and that I can only hear
our final conversation
"Do you wish I was different?"
"You are too rooted."
dripping from the soil above.
if i am Eurydice.
At one point, Orpheus turned back. Worms started falling from my sky.
He dug holes into my tomb in hopes they would find me.
On the side of their bodies were detailed regrets,
as if they were wearing a heart on their sleeves.
Since I was gone, he didn't belong on earth.
I pondered miniature rockets on the worms' backs,
sending them up to my new beyond.
I want him to know how tall I've grown (many sunflowers)
and sometimes, i like to think he'd be proud of me.
But to look back, so I've learned, is to die a second death.
What I hear now is similar to the sound of crows.
we used to speak whenever Orpheus spoke to the stars.
He shouted from his launching pad, warning a distant planet
that he was coming soon, that he was Orpheus, and
"Since I am, I don't belong on this earth!"
The hesitance in the crows' voices matched mine
whenever I was rooted. Whenever I was me.
And in my first death, I thought I had done enough.
My front yard's no longer his launching pad.
To look back is to die a second death.
What's dead is dead and always will be.
i will never look back.