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Static Line

Cody Gallo

 My lungs slip out of my / ribcage to flutter / like broken wings

Eviscerated, you pulled the ripcord

                                             on my guts.

                                                 The static lines flap

                                           against the gray hull of the C-17 Globemaster

                                                                     as you soar up up up

                         into the heavens

                                                  while I tumble down through the

Saharan sunrise.

                                                                   Trailing behind me

My colon, intestines and stomach

                                                        twist, attached by my esophagus

                                                                   in place of the T-10 Delta parachute.

                                                                                My lungs slip out of my

                                                                                     ribcage to flutter 

                                                                                like broken wings.

                                                                            I impact the burning sand.


                                                                                            I stare up at

                                                                              300 OD green jellyfish

                                                                                       floating down

                                                                               through golden mist.


                                                                           What was the goal again?

                                                                                I drag myself into the meager shade

                                                                                             of a bone dry bush.

                                                                                On its branches, I observe

                                                                                            a constellation of white orbs,

                                                                    shells, delicate as my fingernails,

                                                                                           housing desert snails

                                                                              that slug along the branches.

                                                                                          What is the goal?

                                                                              A soothsayer told a child

                                                                                           he’d lived through lifetimes

                                                                                           of bloodshed

                                                                                           and sent him on a fool’s errand

                                                                             Chasing after a grail,

                                                                                          on an odyssey to Ithaca,

                                                                                    deployed him

                                                                                          on what should have been a UN mission

                                                                             What was the goal?

                                                                              After twenty years

                                                                    We are still half a world apart

                                                              You are the ocean

                                       and I lay

                                                               in an ancient sea bed

                                                                        tracing eons in the layers

                                                              Your heart beats

                                                                               as fast as the hummingbird

                                                              drinking from the bougainvillea

                                                          that I spent years nursing from a weed

                                                                                     My mind is lost

                                                                  in the galaxy of

                                                                                                     its own neurons

                                                                                firing erratically

                                                                                     Your impatience is a virtue

                                                                    until it pulls the ripcord

                                                                          and you flit away,

                                                                                        little hummingbird

                                                                 And leave me

                                                                               to collect what’s left

                                                                             just enough dust to pour

                                                                    into the shell of a desiccated snail

                                                                              What was the goal?

✽ ✽ ✽

Cody Gallo was born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia. He served in the US Army, 82nd Airborne Division, as an Airborne Infantry Officer, from 2006 to 2010. He deployed to Iraq in 2007 in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, and to Haiti in 2010 in support of Operation Unified Response. He then served in the Army National Guard as a Public Affairs Officer, from 2010 to 2016. He now works in the film & television industry and lives with his wife and daughter in Bergen, Norway. His poetry has been published in The Deadly Writers Patrol.

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