Vapor Trails

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A ghost of aviation
She was swallowed by the sky
Or by the sea like me she had a dream to fly
Like Icarus ascending
On beautiful foolish arms
Amelia, it was just a false alarm.
– Joni Mitchell, “Amelia”

I never wanted them to find her body…
never wanted them to analyze her bones…
didn’t want them picking apart her remains and her story.
For me, she didn’t perish,
she simply flew away into infinity.
One womyn chasing her dreams,
Leaving vapor trails across an endless sky.

They say that the arms on her skeleton were larger than average.
Did they know it was because she dared to stretch like her imagination,
dared to lift the weight of the entire atmosphere
until her body became so mighty that when she soared through His blue,
G-d trembled like the body of her twin-engine Lockheed Electra?

What is it about humanity that it likes to pick away at mythology,
scratching at the wax on Icarus’ wings until there is nothing left?
I don’t want to think about one hundred radio transmissions
spoken into the dark
over the crashing of Pacific waves.
Can’t bear to think about the tiny crabs they say desiccated her flesh,
taking apart her ambition with hungry little bites.
I’d rather believe that she never landed on that island,
that every transmission was a false alarm.

Amelia, I don’t care what they say,
to me, you never died.
You are laughing from the cockpit
somewhere among the icy clouds.
Fly away into infinity,
one womyn chasing her dreams,
leaving vapor trails across an endless sky.

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Creative Commons License
This work, “Vapor Trails” by Beth Murch, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

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