My breath catches in my chest and flickers out.
I howl down the corridors
fluttering like the flame of a
sputtering candle in the darkness.
Howling smoke wreath,
I reach for the crack of the windowsill.
My voice aches and screams to lift the pane
a perfect prism of glass
separates me from home.
Outside, streetlights wink so many stars
and I dream of freedom.
He lifts my feet onto the metal pedals
it bites into the soft underside of my flesh.
I steal footsteps.
machine whirrs lyric alarm to my racing heart.
Sleepy nurses snap to attention in the night, they
shine their tiny laser spotlights into my eyes
“Why are you awake? Get back into bed!
Check the tubes and IVs for tampering,
Their pens bobbing up and down in small salutes.
I have read that the true
alchemists of our world
natural elements into gold—
a physical substance
hard to gain
but easy to lose
Instead they reach out
with inquisitive minds
flexible and open enough
to perceive reality from
countless angles that allow
them to rearrange it
into unlimited possibilities
fingertips made skillful
with a great deal