Many people have told of their out-of-body experiences.
What if being "exterior" from the body is the natural state…not the reverse?
What if you found yourself viewing what you had formerly thought of as "yourself"?

You and I

by Shellah Garrett

I look at you,
your suit,
your shoulders bent,
your briefcase swaying by your side.
Striding mechanically down the hill to the bus at five oh five.
Moving neither quick nor slow.
Hastening.
A worn, repetitive sort of rushing.
You have made this trip before.

But I
I soar above your head
I burst the seams of space invisibly enclosing me.
A chick released from the shell. A butterfly free from the floss.
Like helium from a shattered balloon
I get bigger.
Soaring, stretching. Almost itching from expanding too fast.
I almost hear the tearing of my walls as they become too weak to hold me.
I permeate the sky,
Soaking up the sun and blue.

You are so empty.
Your body is shell really.
No one there.
But sadder still,
You are there.
You think you are just going through the motions.
You want to be free to "think of other things".
Instead you just feel empty.

You vaguely notice no one notices that you're not there.
You wonder if, perhaps, you are there, and if this emptiness is you.
And if, in your absenteeism, this is what you have become.

And would this body go right on walking to the bus
If you just left?
Or went unconscious?
A shimmer of sad terror
Realizing that
For just a moment
The thought is somehow appealing.

But I
I see a bird and ride his sweeping path a bit before I am cast off.
Rising higher than he,
swifter than I can stand,
I catch the vertigo of exhilaration.
There is no limit.

Where will I be when I run out of sky?
Do I want to go that far?
What if I lose my body and can't find it again?

A silent snap
I spiral down
Faster than an elevator cut from the cord.

Back inside my own head
I see the bus is here.

© 1993, 2002 Shellah Garrett
All Rights Reserved