Paige Elizabeth Smith, Objects simply fall

Gravity as a theory is false. Objects simply fall.

— from The Flat Earth Society FAQ section

How could you say the earth is a globe?
You walk on the surface,
yet, your feet do not curve.

Ah, the photos. Pretty illusions
conjured from a fish-eyed lens.
How distorted you all are,

propagating blind belief
of new-age daydreams,
still listening to the ‘astronauts.’

Our eyes fail as we age:
hallucinating, we run circles
around a flattened disk.

Keep sailing until you reach
that edge — the point when you cascade
from the rim — there will you join
the smooth lines of the stars.

Mid-Air Fray

Those hard, parking-lot-brawl birds
rouse me with dawn call: un-synced shrieks,
so far from song as a mouthless gurgle
flung from their nest somewhere in the attic.

Occasionally one catapults,
wounded from the frantic mid-air fray
to burst his bowels and bleed upon my balcony
while his comrades shriek and dip,

circling around, uniform, then scattered,
miles away, then close enough
to count the grimy feathers.
I slam the door, keep the wounded out.

His mouth agape, infested eyes gawking,
wings splayed like a rug, useless legs.
I shake my head. He and his maggots
are not welcome here.

He pauses for a gasping minute, then,
in a superheroic feat of strength,
he launches himself onto the balcony wall
and plummets to the earth, twenty feet below.

‘In all things of nature’, wrote Aristotle
‘there is something of the marvelous.’

Bonk

is the buzzword
as you throw your stupid bodies
against my window, searching
for a way in, droning for me.

you encircle me on the streets
threatening to stab and swell me up,
impose your anaphylactic shock.

you spread your sticky-icky seed
all across town, bringing your
disgusting reproduction
to every corner of the spring.

I dream that you’ll fall
writhing in the dirt, disarmed
tiny hairy legs akimbo, abandoning
your search for sugar.

Halt the assembly line. Lay off
all the workers. Let the flowers
fabricate themselves.

In a hundred million years
all the crops will grow again,
sterile, fully automated,

delivering new generations
with no sting, no savage birth,
bearing tiny bits of plastic
in their cellular structure.

coffee and ten minutes

seven am and ten minutes to decide
what grammar exercise we’ll do today
which song to shuffle your feet to on the commute
still several steps before waking
even as the lesson begins
am I in this body at all and can they see
I am so blank
I revise these tenses in my sleep
I am cold from finger to toe
I am at the rim of consciousness

the student blinks
contact
the a-ha moment
we can get up the hills of this room
we can see the other side of this language
we can complete the task in fifty minutes or less
we can check our answers
and now we can have our
coffee and ten minutes

the caffeine inhales and exhales
will it ignite my rusted synapses
will it rouse me from this routine
will it give me those signs I seek
the image flows — spilled champagne — a slither
in the grass — the rippling of the — of the —

you’re staring at the bottom of the cup
your pen has been still for an age
your coat’s already on
you have glimpsed the breach
you have seen the doorway
of awakeness and it has
eluded you again

Paige Elizabeth Smith is a writer from La Quinta, California. She spent four years as a TEFL teacher in Poland before enrolling in the Creative Writing Masters program at the University of Edinburgh. Her work has been published in Shoreline of Infinity, From Arthur’s Seat, Spectrum and The Passage Between.

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