Back Home by Molly-Andrea Ryan

When I float, I float like discarded cotton pulled thin at the edges and stuffed into ears to keep out the sounds of sirens on witching hour streets. I float like a jagged piece of coral split from its reef by crime scene tape, buoyant with rusting holes. You could shatter me between your thumb and forefinger. I float like a kite spider drifting across the Atlantic, my eight legs dancing in search of land, my eight eyes falling on nothing in particular. I am a car driving the wrong way down a one-way street. I am a cellophane balloon inside of a funeral home. I am a wind-up toy tipped over.

Trust me when I tell you: when you hear the sound of trumpets all in tune, when you see tulips rising from mulch in shocking rows of yellow and pink, when you feel the perfect grinding of acorns beneath your feet,

when you walk down the street
and discover each of my multitudes
swaying in exaltation of the here
and now, you’ll know
I’ve found my way
back home.

Molly Andrea-Ryan (she/her) is a poet and prose writer living in Pittsburgh, PA. Her work is forthcoming in Sledgehammer Lit, Blue River Review, and Moist Poetry Journal.