Flying Inside Your Own Body by Margaret Atwood

I remember reading this back in college and feeling like Atwood has been in my head always.

Flying Inside Your Own Body
Margaret Atwood

Your lungs fill & spread themselves,
wings of pink blood, and your bones,
empty themselves and become hollow.
When you breathe in you’ll lift like a balloon
and your heart is too light & too huge,
beating with pure joy, with pure helium.
The sun’s white winds blow through you,
there’s nothing above you,
you see the earth now as an oval jewel,
radiant & seablue with love.
It’s only in dreams you can do this.
Waking, your heart is a shaken fist,
a fine dust clogs the air you breathe in;
the sun’s a hot copper weight pressing straight
down on the think pink rind of your skull.
It’s always the moment before the gunshot.
You try & rise but you cannot.

From Selected Poems II (1976-1986) by Margaret Atwood, published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 1987.


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