“Liftoff” – Poetry by Laurin DeChae

Illustration from Mary Crary's "Daughters of the Stars" - Edmund Dulac, 1939
Illustration from Mary Crary’s “Daughters of the Stars” – Edmund Dulac, 1939

Take to the heavens with “Liftoff,” one of two awesomely extra-terrestrial poems by Laurin DeChae in our very cosmic Fall 2015 issue.

{ X }

THREE, TWO ONE. hop on board my bottle rocket. we’re taking off.
haven’t we landed on the moon? i saw it with my own
moon eyes. right through the television screen. one small step
means beam me up,  set me free. if you love something, if you love something.
but we’re all thumbs. we fumble and drop with nowhere to hitch.
to the moon, to mars, it doesn’t matter.
rev the engines, let’s go be alien somewhere up, up and away
sending smoke signals to the stars wailing past. you’re all just voices
in my head. look inside my metal cap.
maybe you’re the sick one, maybe i’m.
maybe i’m inkjet, maybe i’m rocket fuel. stardust.
on a scale of one to floating, is this a magic carpet ride
or helium? we’re all just spacing out and i’ll have what he’s having.
we’ll change our cosmic address, elope, become living time capsule,
a sanctuary in the nucleus of a trilobite. to know thyself is to blink
in fractals for eons and eons. the horizon is nothing more than an illusion
and so are we. we can’t even make food out of sunlight. ours has always been a story
of survival. a psychedelic spectra caterwauling.  far and away i hear the creak
of a door opening. it is the destiny of the stars to collapse.
we’ve always turned to the sky for answers, excreting
the tiniest tentacle into the outreaches, the out-of-bounds,
hoping something will stick to us like flypaper. and we’ll reel
it in, dissect and devour—for scientific purposes.
what’s our trajectory? don’t let this be an arc.
i can’t come right back down. earth is calling.
but i’m with the satellites now. no signal out here.
they tell me it’s inescapable. that i’m bouncing
off walls. so tell me, are you coming with me?

{ X }

DeChae_HeadshotLAURIN DeCHAE is an M.F.A. candidate for poetry at the University of New Orleans, where she acts as the associate editor for Bayou Magazine. She is active in the fields of education and composition, assisting in programs such as the Greater New Orleans Writing Project, Scholastic Art & Writing Awards, and the Tennessee Williams Literary Festival. Her work appears or is forthcoming in Harpur Palate, Cleaver Magazine, burntdistrict, S/WORD, and Rose Red Review.

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