Stomach in the Sky
Sons of the same feather return to the blue tile. Their beaks are spears and pouches, and they joust. Meanwhile, among the minnows below: one skims the sea’s glass ceiling, is clamped between the twin knives of a diving beak. Meanwhile, another winnow is newly widowed. “Meanwhile” may or may not involve causality, which involves casualty. Trees at the water’s edge are green gauze where green is many things, among them memory, and the vision is yours, but the trees are not. A third minnow is snatched like the first and then grieves like the second, except it grieves its own death, which does not arrive. You are the third minnow. You are swimming in the sagging fishbowl of a pelican’s beak. You and your vision glide down the pipe into a pink contracting muscle. Your vision doesn’t know it’s pink; meanwhile, neither do you. The joust is about to begin and whether the pelican loses or wins makes no difference. Meanwhile, you are a widow to yourself. Meanwhile, the blind version thrives, and as the vision version dies, so does your need to grieve. Meanwhile, your best days are spent in a stomach in the sky. Either heaven has taken you, or you have been delivered.
That you occupy an area the exact length and mass of your body, that were you to outstretch your hand it would touch another human being and that for this reason you don’t stretch out – therein lies the start of what it is to recede. To recede: to move back or backward, into the ward at the back wing, to be wingless and wean off the need to fly, to improvise something new. To recede: to cede again, give or give up or give way, like a shy tide jilted by the sand, never to return, off to someplace new. To pucker from deep within, to not depend, to deepen the deep end, and swim. You cede until the sea is all you can see because, having once been the sea, having then left your post, you can step back from the body that has held you and held you down and return to yourself.
Tiffany Mi is an emerging writer hailing from greater Dallas, TX. She received her B.A. from Pomona College, and her work is found or forthcoming in Gordon Square Review and Sobotka Literary Magazine. She tweets @mi_tiff.