The Scientist by Liana Kapelke-Dale

In another life, I would have been
a scientist. I’d forego these wily
words, deceptively sated
with texture but filling the sky
with vacancy. I’d perform
ecstatic experiments, purposely
combust elements that
live outside my heart.
I’d fall through the sky, past
the sterility of white coats and
laboratories, to fertile earth.
I’d follow my terrestrial cells
out to the Cosmos and test
hypotheses such as, the stars are
hung with icicles like
Christmas ornaments.
I’d place my DNA on a
microscope slide next to my lover’s,
and watch them entwine.

In another life, I would have been
a spaceman. I’d feed on light,
beautifully infected with a gentle glow.
I’d sit on my spaceship above the
clouds and falling snow and be
cured of my hubris. I’d blush and spark
like falling embers in the dark,
feel the warmth of lasers and the
sun. I’d forget the fear of
right and wrong and remember
only oblivious subject ivity.
I’d fly, never away from,
but rather to.

In another life, I’d gladly
endure the shame of
I’d see the light drain
from my veins and burn
like feedback from an amp.
I’d watch my
skin shed its cells,
knowing that each one
is full of stars.
I’d lay down my sentience,
and welcome my fall
into grace.

In another life, Liana Kapelke-Dale would have been a scientist. In this life, she is a poet and law student whose other interests include classic rock, vintage clothing, and Latin American travel. Her work has been seen most recently in From the Depths and Transient, and is forthcoming in Star*Line and Emerge Literary Journal.

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