Watching Episodes of 'I Shouldn't Be Alive' in Reverse

by Alayna Frankenberry

We like tears sucked into ducts, the way
waterfalls look running upwards. Viewed in reverse
the sea ejaculates helicopters and lightning.
Bears appear with limbs in loose jaws, healing
hikers and tidying campsites. A ribcage coughs up
buckshot. The mountain inhales its shelf of snow.
We like the hour condensed, flares asleep
in their nests, lifejackets stowed safely overhead.
We like to watch the ice beards melt, the sallow
eyes give up their yellow. Everyone grows handsome
and hopeful. We think it better to end at the beginning,
husband kissing wife hello, child tangled into arms.
We think love can exist independent of shipwrecks
and shark attacks or just that it can be enough,
just that you shouldn't have to earn it.

Alayna graduated from Carnegie Mellon University with degrees in Creative Writing and Hispanic Studies. Her work has appeared in Open Thread and Weave and she was recently nominated for a Pushcart Prize. She is writing this bio from a Disney liquidation store.