Wet, slimy trees blow sideways—
the storm is on its way.

We rationalize that our ancestors suffered enough punishment
for the rest of us while we sit back and watch
the electric clouds gather overhead.

The gray storm air arrives and vivisects our torsos until our lungs
burst from our backs. They gain momentum as they flap and we fly away,
breathing and moving simultaneously.
To those who see us we are both angels and hellions,
winged and peaceful and red and bloody and sad.

You ask me why we haven’t died yet.
I don’t have an answer
and that bothers you.
We arrive at a cold mountain perch,
our lung wings
exhausted from the distance we traveled.
When we land our lungs absorb back into our chests.

The plan all along
was for us to end up somewhere
impossible to leave.
Strange, I knew this would happen
before it happened.

Adam Crittenden holds an MFA in poetry from New Mexico State University where he was awarded an Academy of American Poets Prize. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in Whiskey Island, Bayou Magazine, Metazen, Barn Owl Review, and several other journals.