Tumbling through cotton candy clouds,
I thread my fingers between gossamer
Strands of pale pink and baby blue
Soft as spider’s silk, wrapping around
My pinky, an ethereal ribbon of light.
Body flailing, caught in free-fall,
I surrender to gravity’s demands,
Letting moisture pool upon my lashes
Lavender crystals nestled above my eyes,
I inhale invisible capsules of air,
Feeling bubbles of oxygen caress
The lining of my slender throat.
Imaginary lines guide me through
The marmalade horizon, a compass
Fixed upon my destiny, hidden,
Beneath clouds of taffeta and velvet,
Draped across the sky like a grand
Curtain obscuring the celestial ball
Materializing high in the heavens.
My fingers numbed from the wintry
Kiss of lingering nimbus shadows,
Tangle themselves in the tether,
Fixed to my harness of deliverance.
A gentle tug, easing the lever open,
And I am hurtled against the sky
Arms outstretched like wings of
Smoke and shadow, blackening
The fiery glow of the setting sun.
Ballooning above my head, patches
Of lilac and indigo flutter as my
Parachute unfurls the shell of its
Mushroom canopy, nylon cords,
Connecting me like a marionette.
Gliding effortlessly through the,
Diminishing atmosphere, I breathe
In rays of pale blue, feeling them
Tickle the oscillating membrane
Of my lungs, like a pale feather,
Trapped by the cyclone of a storm.
Ridges of land unfold rapidly below,
Canyons carved from the bones of
Buried ancestors sleeping beneath
Rocks painted red and gold.
Squeezing my frozen eyelids shut,
I steel myself for Earth’s fatal impact
Only to feel the embrace of sun-baked
Soil licking my trembling toes, as
They sink into sand as gold as dawn.
Flashes of lilac and lavender tease
My peripheral view, as my parachute
Pools behind me, a deflated carcass
Retired from the liberation of the sky.
Gazing heavenward, a fervent longing
Lingers in my chest, beckoning me to
Once more seek that forbidden freedom.
Audra Burwell is a creative writing major with a strong emphasis on fantasy-themed poetry and fiction that covers universal subject matter. She studies at California State University Fresno where she is aiming for a Master of Fine Arts degree. She is currently employed by Fresno State’s Kremen Department as a Communications Assistant where she designs articles, media advisories, website content, press releases, and flyers that advocate for numerous college programs and that promote the student body on campus. She also simultaneously works for A Book Barn in Old Town Clovis and for their sub-business, HBE Publishing, where she has held a position for over six years. There, she performs a variety of tasks including clerical responsibilities, social media administration, inventory management, book design, editing, and event planning. Some of Audra’s hobbies include archery, photography, snowboarding, skydiving, horseback riding, cosplaying, and traveling.