“Falling in the Direction of Up”
by Kurt Luchs
Are birds jealous of angels
because they can fly in realms beyond the physical?
Are angels jealous of birds
because they can fly without having to carry God?
Humans are jealous of both, I think,
the angels we can’t see and can’t even begin to prove exist
and the birds we see everyday
soaring over our heads, owning the sky in a way
we never can, despite our planes, helicopters and hot-air balloons.
We learn to covet what is near to us
yet forever beyond our reach, though it may also
be the thing that causes us to look upward
out of ourselves, beyond being into becoming.
That look took us to the moon once.
Someday it may take us to the stars.
Whatever it is we believe we are doing,
we are always either falling to earth
or falling in the direction of up.
I will fall that way if you will fall with me,
and it occurs to me now that two hands
holding each other almost make a wing.
Kurt Luchs has poems published or forthcoming in Into the Void, Right Hand Pointing, Antiphon and The Sun Magazine. He placed second for the 2019 Fischer Poetry Prize, and won the 2019 Atlanta Review International Poetry Contest. He has written humor for the New Yorker, the Onion and McSweeney’s Internet Tendency. His books include a humor collection, It’s Funny Until Someone Loses an Eye (Then It’s Really Funny) (2017 Sagging Meniscus Press), and a poetry chapbook, One of These Things Is Not Like the Other (2019
Finishing Line Press). More of his work, both poetry and humor, is at kurtluchs.com.