“Glass Coffin” and “See You at the Air Down”

Photo by Akhilesh Sharma on Unsplash

Glass Coffin

I’m not going to be famous,

but my kids might remember me.

Perhaps I’ll have the luck

to kiss a child and be forgotten,

a lingering creation left upon the earth,

consumed by a mad dash to replace us all.

Billions of bodies laid to rest, the greatest

monarchs lost except in the minds

of only the most dedicated professors.

What might I give

for a fossil footprint secure in the desert

or a stretch of tar sand to hold me for infinity?

When I die, I want to be dressed in jewels,

a beaded cloak, surrounded by pottery

and dried petals, sealed in stone

to be found in a thousand years.

Who is this king someone will ask,

careful to remove my bones from the crust,

wipe each carpal with a horsehair brush.

They will parade me around some future museum.

Kids will point and leave fingerprints on glass.

They’ll give me a spotlight, a new name,

something that ends in capitalized Man.

My bones will rhyme with myth and slow

dance amid the frozen mammoths. Let it be

a resting place to see yourself in my conserved decay.

See You at the Air Down

Before you drive along the beach,

the rule is you must air down,

drop the tire atmosphere to fifteen pounds,

float above the sand to a place where waves

and savage white caps loosen the striving.

Where seals peek above the crab lands,

where a seagull surveys a wide domain. She nods

to you with a side-eye, her newest vassal

in a quartz kingdom. We will leave this place—

crouch low with gritty feet to pump air

back into four tires, raise our heads

a little higher in the setting sun,

count the climbing numbers, strap ourselves

down, leave a feathered queen standing

on the beach to witness another turning

of the tide, to attack a crab with claws

raised in futile protection

from salty days that turn us into feast.

About the Author

Trapper Markelz

Trapper Markelz (he/him) is a husband, father of four, poet, musician, and cyclist, who writes from Boston, Massachusetts. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in the journals Baltimore Review, Stillwater Review, Greensboro Review, Passengers Journal, High Shelf Press, Dillydoun Review, and others. You can learn more about him at trappermarkelz.com.