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Poetry by Gretchen Rockwell

Seven Minutes of Terror

Certain journeys we can only make

alone, reaching into the void and hoping

we land safely. There is no frequency

to these efforts, no wavelength we

can depend on. Consider the parents

who sit white-knuckle, waiting

to see if their struggle has been

in vain. Consider the child

launched at last, finally risked

and risking. All our preparation

was calculated. There is always a breath

before the collision when we realize

all at once the interplay of friction

and uncertainty. Once gone

they are out of our hands, and we

will learn from their solitary voice

signaling back to us, saying I will

teach you this, too. I will show you

what it means to dream again.

Gretchen Rockwell (xe/xer) is a queer poet currently living in Pennsylvania. Xe is the author of the microchapbooks love songs for godzilla (Kissing Dynamite, 2020) and Thanatology (Ghost City Press, 2020); xer work has appeared in Glass: A Journal of Poetry, Poet Lore, FOLIO, FreezeRay Poetry, and elsewhere. Find xer at or on Twitter at @daft_rockwell.

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