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Extract From A Plane Crash Survivor’s Diary

We must have crashed
into a forest.
It’s a lovely place if you
don’t pay attention
to the clothes hanging
from the smashed windows. If you
don’t pay attention
to the human shapes
hanging from the trees.

Yes, it is a plane crash;
but there are still bushes,
leaves, damp grass, pretty rocks;
burrows, branches and careful not to trip!
Birds and clouds looking like things they’re not.
We’re just a bunch of unfortunate people
who bumped into a Sunday walk
on their way to somewhere else.

A tiny sparrow flaps its wings at me, whispers:
I told you so. Flying was never for you.

I take a look at the bodies on the ground,
scattered like raindrops
soon to be absorbed by the soil
and returned to the clouds
where they come from.

And here the pilot lies in his uniform,
next to a broken radio.
A patch of blue,
just as dead as the others.
His face in the mud.

I walk up to him, tiptoeing
as if I didn’t have only
one shoe left.
As if somebody
could hear me.

I grab his shoulder and roll
his heavy body over.
He’s wearing an earring,
a bit of blood
has dried under his left eye.

And he looks
a lot
like me.

Bio – Jo Matsaeff is a neurodivergent queer teacher based in France. They can be found at their local open mic or virtually hanging out with their international poet friends wishing for a day when a magical tunnel will bring them all together. Their recent work appears or is forthcoming in Serotonin Poetry, Capsule Stories and Olney Magazine. Follow them at jo_pangolin (Instagram)

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