i’ve been practicing in my head to sketch the lines,
organic and uneven, of the contours the clouds will hold
tomorrow. each time i belly-flop forward in rusty trustfall
onto them, it is more aptly described as as a sinking into:
        the lack of ground that in itself grounds me;
        the notion that clouds themselves are composed
        of liquid; that to become one with a liquid,
        one must find comfort in falling through undefined spaces
        and molding into new sketched outlines.
so i stretch; i’ve reached my splits for the first time
in four years; my eyes are four inches below five-foot-two now
and with the extra quarter inch my vision sees far enough
around the curve of the earth to lock onto the words
that have not yet been etched into the dictionary, their unmuttered syllables
background noise to the hours spent half-bodybuilding in baby steps
among the heat and cardboard, earworm i’ll nurture.
say it’s a fine line between fear and excitement but both
fire up the same chemical inside; maybe two things can be equivalent
yet opposite at the same time. Maybe what we are not is, in an ambiguous way,
exactly what we are. Maybe definition is something arbitrary with the way
some new impression of meaning is felt in each stretched moment.
my (only) fear is the unknown, i am told, and i feel, and i despise,
and i dive for it in a rush too quickly to find footing
in the soft white of the clouds.                                  
                                                        are their forms themselves
not illusions? are their masses of white solid in the sky
not liquid, void of foothold or handhold at all? Is that the fear, the thrill:
        the absence of feeling’s ability to know what step may be unstable?
        the pace of liquid, to move to so many unnamed locations
        & new shapes in increments constant to the human eye?     
        the addition of a distance, the notion that for life to progress
        it must be set apart from a known and felt familiarity?
what about this melting to become, this brightening in my gut
at the sight of a shade of blue i’ve never seen before awakens me?
shakes me inside, but to restart a heart? what about this art of stretching
to reach the top shelf each shift of my part-time job to support
being a full-time dreamer makes me feel so unsteady at the top of a ladder
yet willing to fly when no ground is even in view?        
                                                                                             i’ll see how it works out,
i say, tracing in the crevices of my mind that form muscle memory
the sketches i’ve been drawing over and over at each thought of tomorrow
for the past two months. in another two, will i draw them into ink?
will i paint them, or will the dawn do that, refracting color
off the droplets of cumulus the adrenaline in me says i’ll be glad i became?