Rise Up
by Jeff Santosuosso



I float an impatience balloon,
not a trial balloon,
but an actual balloon filled with impatience,
filled with exhalations that drain my lungs,
suck the stress right out,
as if I feel them collapsing
down to the bronchioles,
as if my ribs were sucking in,
as if I drew my shoulders and neck in,
then gasped a few heaves of inhalation to reset my breath.

The balloon doesn’t rise.
No helium,
just stress-charged carbon dioxide
floats about my head and shoulders,
stretches that balloon to a taut paling of blue,
that nipple bump on the end,
the string choking in everything.
Better the balloon than me,
hanging around until, slowly leaking,
it would sink, shrivel and re-gather its flaccid, deep, color,
useless,
like all the others at my feet.





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