Our Goodness

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.