please fold up your longings neatly,
drawing the sleeves parallel and mirrored
against the table of the body.
Without them, you will not expire—
the markets don’t want your soul,
only your dry fingers,
your palatable smile.
The day before your flight,
check in your love of open sky
and the taste of bright days
on your spoiled-milk tongue.
You are going back underground.
Tuck away your abundance of trees,
your five tones, your quiet ease.
If you must be brilliant,
remember, where you have no blood,
no one will hear you,
no one will come.
Oh to go back to your bloodless country:
your pale hero’s journey, your singularity.
In twenty-four hours you will call it home again
because to use another word would break you.
Please don’t be sad—
soon you will forget.
And when you hurtle again, next winter,
toward your warm green other half,
it will hurt less
to leave the trees
with your memory.
Thank you for flying
We wish you a safe flight.
Phoebe Low has been published in Mithila Review, Red Cedar Review, Filament Magazine and The Pennsylvania Gazette. They have served as an assistant at InkWell Management, a literary agency.