Published on Academy of American Poets (https://poets.org)


Figure, ground

Catapult through hills
locking on air. So much of it
the lungs won’t take it in.

Then all’s a pinwheel, I’m
the pin. The girl
on her back

having a tantrum
on the drugstore floor
until her mother stands up and leaves.

The ladybug’s gunmetal
legs pedaling machinely
until they still

and fold. The body
is an envelope.
The air black

diamonds and helium
I’m far too far
to grieve.

Credit


Copyright © 2018 by Melissa Stein. Originally published in Poem-a-Day on July 27, 2018, by the Academy of American Poets.

About this Poem


“Sometimes we just can't pick ourselves up.”
Melissa Stein

Author


Melissa Stein

Melissa Stein is the author of Terrible Blooms (Copper Canyon Press, 2018).

Date Published: 2018-07-27

Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/figure-ground