Ascension by T.M. Thomson

Ascension | T.M. Thomson


I am tired of having hands / she said / I want wings — / But what will you do without your hands / to be human? / I am tired of human / she said / I want to live on the sun —” 

Louise Glück – “Averno”


I want to live on the sun—

So let’s lift off of rooftop
scatter the soot of chimney
the twigs of trumpet tree
the pebbles gathering dust
in gutters.

Start on tiptoes, reach & sway,
think red thoughts—hateful,
hot, swollen, strutting, alive—
begin with butterfly strokes
for takeoff.

Once your feet leave roof,
allow for awe, flabbergast,
alarm, flyer’s guilt, wind
on soles, ecstasy, then unseal
your eyes. 

Look down at green & grey
landscape, its curve & flow,
its medley of soft sage, hard
nut brown, realize its bounds,
keep rising.

Lean into leisurely backstroke
somersault from gust to gust
tango with tawny-browed owl
spin with clouds for culottes
approach sun.

Finally, wear skin flushed
by refraction & convection
nuclei blooming like a million
magnolia with you at the center
spinning, limbless.

~inspired by Niels Corfitzen – “Swimming Between Clouds,” 2021

T.M. Thomson’s work has most recently appeared in Soundings East and Bluebird Wordand and will appear in Pink Panther Magazine and Evocations in the upcoming months. Three of her poems have been nominated for Pushcart Awards: “Seahorse and Moon” in 2005, “I Walked Out in January” in 2016, and “Strum and Lull” in 2018. She is the author of Strum and Lull(2019) and The Profusion (2019), which placed in Golden Walkman’s 2017 chapbook competition, and co-author of Frame and Mount the Sky(2017). Her full-length collection Plungewill be out in 2023. She has a writer’s page at