I slowly exhale, letting the air escape my lungs
and crystallize on impact with the frigid, autumn air.
I start picturing faces in the clouds,
two children with hands intertwined,
a sky full of cumulus people.
As the clouds swirl about, I smile up at them,
but their gaze back is stoic and painted on.
I don’t mind too much.
This is a lucky day.
Sometimes the sky is washed over and gray,
and the cloud people never make an appearance.
I just sit there waiting and watching.
Waiting and watching.
Today, however, is a lucky day.
I am their conductor.
A bellowing beat on a gaseous drum signifies the start.
The cloud people laugh as they carry out their routine,
their stoic gazes fading.
As the booming intensifies,
vapor serpents writhe onto stage
and wrap around the people.
They become one mass, one system,
working together to recognize and embrace the individual parts.
The fury of their tempo becomes a physical force
as a large gust of wind billows through the clouds
and pulls my hair across my face.
With the air raw against my cheek and brow,
the sky-stage and my people turn dark gray.
Crackling ripples through the air as the cloud people
become raucous in their stomping and laughter.
Tears fall from their faces, but I know that it is passion,
that consumes them.
Then, in the crescendo of the booming and the whirling,
the walls of my imagination break away
and all awareness of my whole self vanishes.
The shower passes,
and the sun breaks through the gray.
The clouds move on past the tiny piece of atmosphere I lay under,
They fade with my cranial decrescendo.
These are my cloud people,
and they are me,
untied to the physical bonds of the earth,
both grounded and free to create.