(on being) a (soft) place to land

Katlyn Furlong

I flinch        at the same scratch

in the record       every time.

for spending eternity    bracing

for      impact    this body

knows nothing about defense.

applies it to        everything.

the touch     of a hand, the

creek of a floorboard even

when it holds a familiar weight;

in my chest—chest—chest—

I say it    as if    to escape it.

paper skin and paperweight

bones.        I can’t remember         

why this started in the first place. 

I think it was something about

permanence        or the lack of it

or     about white socks with frilly

lace   tight    around my ankles I

asked my mother to take off

but she needed to    mark me    

girl     soft and open      a front

porch step and a kiss on the cheek

in June all the color      runs out

and I am staring     at the big sky

braiding the trails of planes

no longer earth bound    and I

wish to     soar      past light

but I am still taking lessons

in becoming it.  

Katlyn Furlong is a senior at California University of Pennsylvania where she majors in English with a concentration in creative writing. Katlyn has been published in Litro Magazine and works as an editor for an online literary magazine and as a writing consultant. She is from Coal Center, Pennsylvania, a small town with a whopping population of 176 people. She writes mostly poetry and creative nonfiction and shamelessly lives in pajama pants.