Jody Chan

flying lessons


and even a flock of starlings               system whirling

synchronized without practice or premeditation

must learn its grace from these queer bodies on

this holy dance floor

this friday night murmuration.

even the sway the heart-thud the lemon-salt-tequila in my throat

too tame to capture you

kite-string you firework you

open runway you

hold this moonglow by a thread

singing my blood into belonging.

and to fall in love with only your body is both crude

perhaps            and wholly wonderful somehow

to pretend this hollow-boned desire is far enough

from rest and close enough to language

to still be home           in a stranger’s mouth

where all beginnings are possible       and no one is

ghost yet and i don’t need your name

to know that if you leave        we leave

together           so stay with me

in this dark cocoon

this precarious safety

your arms like wings or furled parachutes

hours above toronto                where the only stranger to our bodies is gravity

tonight is enough of a reason

to live


Jody Chan is an environmental justice organizer and queer writer of colour based in Toronto. She writes from her experiences of queerness, trauma, and mental illness. She is a 2017 VONA alum, and her poetry has been published in Ricepaper Magazine, Minola Review, and Ascend Magazine.

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