Helium

 

how is it. that i am always sick and you’re not. that my muscles 

tear easily and you storm the streets and take vacation and climb 

old churches to see the city below, held still in earth’s palm. how 

is it that i crash so often. that i sleep through the open mics and 

bonfires and even the secrets. exhaustion carries me one 

direction, bone tired, into myself, with lights out, tossing in bed 

and dreaming of massive sand dunes that i can’t summit. how is it 

that you summit so gracefully. and how do you smile like that, 

like a canyon. i bet your body feels like helium. at least 

sometimes. i bet you feel light. light enough for dance rehearsal 

and dinner prep. light enough for music to sweep you into the 

walls. i watched you hover by the bed. the morning touching your 

hips through the curtain. we laid there for a long time and 

laughed about nothing. but you were too light to hold my weight.


CORBIN LOUIS is a poet and performer from Seattle, Washington. He is a recording artist and MFA graduate at University of Washington Bothell. Corbin’s work has previously been featured in Best American Experimental Writing, Santa Ana Review, Random Sample Review, The Visible Poetry Project and others. The author seeks to open up dialogues of addiction and mental illness. Ink becomes war call and empathy. Salt water and whispers. The poet lives.