“How To” by Aaron Burch

How To

by Aaron Burch

Remember the myth of looking directly into the sun. The milk cartons cut into a makeshift periscope. Remember your brothers and sisters having to turn away, their eyes too weak. Forget their fall, the push, the fact that that was the last time you saw them. Look up to the sun and ask if your strength is a gift or a curse. Push up, out of your nest, and fly toward it, past the caladrius, feeling for a brief moment a kinship you’ve missed, you’ve thought was gone, you’ve thought wasn’t possible. Feel the heat burn away your outer layer, as if a film had built up over time and you hadn’t even noticed, then tuck and fall. Plummet. Past the caladrius again, past others trying to follow its ascent, and crash into the water. Feel new, cleansed, reborn.


Aaron Burch‘s chapbook of short shorts and prose poems, HOW TO TAKE YOURSELF APART, HOW TO MAKE YOURSELF ANEW (from which the above work is taken), is due out in January from PANK. A novella, How to Predict the Weather, is due later in 2010 from Keyhole Books, and he edits HOBART. The work above was originally published in Sleeping Fish and is reprinted by permission of the author.