ADRIAN GIBBONS KOESTERS
We thought to walk on air,
and air let us walk.
We decided air could not hold us,
and air refused to hold again.
Nothing about air had changed:
once you found your beloved
beautiful, then, ridiculous—
we both made that experiment.
We were doomed to hunt out
the planes and lines of our faces,
perhaps from insatiable hunger,
perhaps from incurable childishness.
Perhaps we were doomed to expose
every vestige of self-interest
until we found what we sought,
what from carelessness we’d lost.
Then, with luck, the gods might turn
their heads so far to let us pick up
what we’d squandered, let us shore
our rubble into one of the nine parlors
of heaven. We could be converted
at a moment’s notice afterwards.
A sudden sprig of foxglove
in the Scottish broom could hobble
more than our breath, a newspaper
lap us with astonishment. These stripes
of this balloon aloft, a handful of men
in its basket, lift us off our feet,
their singular beauty
unsullied by the air.
Adrian Koesters’ first book of poems, Many Parishes, was published by BrickHouse Books in 2013. A poet, novelist, and nonfiction writer, her work has appeared in under the gum tree, Inflectionist Review, Grasslimb, The Gettysburg Review, Hotel Amerika, Literary Mama, and elsewhere. She is the fiction editor at A River and Sound Review Journal, and lives in Omaha, Nebraska.