confining the sky

when we were kids we made tents
out of chair backs and bedsheets
to pretend we were pioneers or princesses

and no one thought twice about the
absence of sky created by the draping percale
because, then, still, we were free.

and our legs grumbled and cramped
through nights of growing pains that
made us leap from bed to bang our heels
against the stubborn floor in 3/4 time,
waltzes of transformation

and the longer we painted
the more our landscapes loomed
and the smaller our skies became
until they hovered, as strips,
at the edge of our vision

we fill the foreground with vibrant primary colors
to defy the ugliness of aging.
distracted by reds, we pick the poppies
and smoke their opium, and we think to ourselves
“wouldn’t it be nice to just stretch out for a bit,
here in this field of reds and greens?”
so we do.

in a drug-induced stupor we question:
“where did the sky go?”

but we painted ourselves into this corner.

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