Sink Into

By Gay Baines

Sink into the sky,

fall away, let the Earth become

a star among others, let the moon

open her pointed hands to you.


Fly away, lift your heaviness

and cast it off, a hard

rind of the universe. Breathe

cold space for awhile, let your

lungs wither. Enjoy it.

Pretend you know all,

turn your face to the sun,

feel its warmth fade,

watch it shrink to a twinkle

in the black sky above,

the black sea below,

the black fields of heaven

to the right, to the left.


Soon there is no right

nor left, no up nor down,

all is sky. You no longer

fall nor rise but stay in place

as yourself, the comets surge past you,

unknowing as a high-speed train

bound for a far coast. Pity the poor astronaut

lugging his version of Earth about

with him, giddy armor and faceplate,

like James Mason in a Jules Verne movie,

venturing outside his ship with its crackling

umbilical cord holding him fast to Earth.


Escape it,

run away to the fields of heaven,

feel the blast of the solar wind,

feel the chill of space,

feel the heat of Aldebaran,

feel nothing.




I live in East Aurora, New York, and am a member of the Roycroft Wordsmiths. I have a B.A. in English from Russell Sage College and have done graduate work at Syracuse University and SUNY – Buffalo. I won the National Writers Union Poetry Prize in 1991, Honorable Mention in the Ruth Cable Memorial Poetry Contest in 1996, and the 2008 Mary Roelofs Stott Award for poetry, as well as other prizes. My poems, essays, and short stories have appeared or are forthcoming in over 50 literary journals, including 13th Moon, Amarillo Bay, Anemone Sidecar, Atlanta Review, The Baltimore Review, Bayou, Caveat Lector, Cimarron Review, Confluence, Confrontation, Controlled Burn, Dislocate, Eclectica, Eclipse, Edison Literary Review, The Evansville Review, Grey Sparrow, Hampden-Sydney Poetry Review, Jabberwock Review, Louisiana Literature, Nimrod International Journal, Oregon East, Phoebe, The Pinch, poemmemoirstory, Poet Lore, Quiddity Literary Journal, RE:AL, Rosebud, Slipstream, South Carolina Review, The Texas Review, Verdad, Westview, Whiskey Island, Willow Review, Wisconsin Review, and Zone 3.

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