First time I put high octane on my tongue
bottle read Everclear. Put my eyes on God, then
opened my throat like I was trying to swallow them stars.
It’s a big ass sky. Bigger than a handle bottle, but
you put handle after handle over your head, you
start feeling like you’re pulling yourself up by yourself,
but if you’re on a city street and watch a mime
do that rope-climb-mime-thing, you see both
feet ain’t ever off the ground at the same time.
I grew up laughing at Casey Kasem each week
saying, keep your feet on the ground and keep
reaching for the stars. Who wants to be that tall?
Something about being a person means looking at fire.
Something about being me’s trying to taste fire, not see it.
Christian Anton Gerard’s a woodworker, a poetry editor at 3Elements Literary Review, and the author of Holdfast (C&R Press) and Wilmot Here, Collect for Stella (WordTech). He’s received Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference scholarships, the Iron Horse Literary Review’s Discovered Voices Award, and he was a 2017 Best of the Net finalist. His work appears in places such as The Rumpus, Post Road, The Adroit Journal, Diode, Orion, and Smartish Pace. Gerard is also an associate professor in the creative writing program at the University of Arkansas-Fort Smith.