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once I Was Weightless
Karah Kemmerly

tonight I practice reciting what happened  :  admitting the why of it all  :  out loud now so I can grow heavy again  :  my aim is to settle : once I was obsessed with learning levitation : living above eyelevel : transcending anatomical systems : each word fell heavy on my carpet : digestive/nervous/endocrine  :  I slicked my throat with Nyquil : slept early so I’d swallow nothing else : made my tongue mothwing : coaxed my pelvis into ghost : I thinned my skin    to    a    pillowcase    &    hovered

above  the  bed  every  night   :   it  was

not at all like flight : no flapping or gliding : no outside source of propulsion   :   it   was   taking   in   one

long   breath    :   taking   nothing   in   :

until I became the mouthopening  : until even the gravity of a body couldn’t hold me

Karah Kemmerly grew up in northern California. Her work can be found in The Boiler, Roanoke Review, The Emerson Review, and Santa Ana River Review. She currently lives and teaches in Portland, Oregon. You can find her on Twitter @karah_kemmerly and on Instagram @kekemmerly.

hand raised


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