Issue 23 | Fall 2019

Gravity, or after the plane crashes

Again, this year bodies
fell through the sky, bodies
fell through the blue, holding hands.
They landed naked in the water still
holding hands, while families fainted as they
watched the screens and the hands and the bodies,
their beloved floating in the cold, dark water.

What is gravity in the middle of a black ocean,
in waves and wind and violent under pull.
Where do the living and the dead things meet,
when skin and love go missing in the middle
of purple water, when gravity exists
only to offer limits. We still hold
hands, and watch while the mystery
of life goes under and the bodies
sink, and the families hold
hands, and wait for tokens,
try to forget the blind,
slimy creatures that live
on the gravity
that still works
in death.

Filed under: Poetry

M. Soledad Caballero is Professor of English at Allegheny College. Her scholarly work focuses on British Romanticism, travel writing, post-colonial literatures, WGSS, and interdisciplinarity. She is a 2017 CantoMundo fellow, has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize, a New Poet’s Prize, has been a finalist for The Missouri Review’s Jeffry E. Smith poetry prize, The Mississippi Review’s annual editor’s prize, and a finalist for the Lucille Medwick Memorial Award sponsored by the Poetry Society of America. In 2019, her manuscript was a finalist for the Crab Orchard Review first book prize, the Saturnalia Press first book prize, and a runner-up for the Autumn House Press first book prize. Her poems have appeared in The Missouri Review, The Mississippi Review, Iron Horse Literary Review, Memorius, Crab Orchard Review, Anomaly, and other venues.