The Sacred Manimal

If I had a superpower that allowed me to fly thousands of miles in a single day,

I think I would travel to the top of Denali.

But it would all depend on how long the flight was going to take

and how clear of obstacles the sky would be,

because I wouldn’t want to freeze to death before I got there

or run into a plane

or a lot of other birds just listening to the directional in their heart,

and what good is being able to fly

if you’re just going to end up splashing to the ground like bird poo.

I might choose never to use that superpower,

or maybe I’d start smaller, choosing something like the next town

or the next street over for my migration.

Superpower or no superpower: Possibility first.

The time I actually thought I had a superpower I was 8,

and had eaten a whole sunrise of carrots, because my father,

who probably just wanted to give his little star something

beyond the dimming reality of his life to reach for,

told me they did wonders for the eyesight.

I just wanted to know that my life could be effortless.

Convinced that if I dove into enough of them

I would rise into the power of x-ray vision,

I back-heaved and chortled at least a pound of them,

leaned over the side of the kitchen table, and squinted through

our kitchen with the power of the sun,

in an attempt to project myself through the neighbor’s French doors

and land safely on the other side.

I haven’t been able to resolve the matter of figuring out

what the heck I really want from this life yet,

how what I want becomes what I don’t want

the moment I realize the me I want to become I’ve already been,

how every thing I experience is a dream of some kind,

and as such closes me into a present I can but only flash and crack on about,

no matter how paradoxically I peel across my hopes like it.

But sunsets aren’t everything.

No matter how many times I repeat my mistakes,

it’s how I draw back, send myself out there,

land short of my expectations, and end up coming back down to earth

to pierce a spot of myself I didn’t know how to see,

that becomes central to figuring out how I’m becoming one with

the sacred manimal I am.