Early in the 21st Century
Every Time They Hear a Helicopter
The little girl is afraid of blank sky. Behind her closed eyes, the Challenger explodes in a sunrise. The evening star is a spaceship forever. The bear is afraid of asteroids, drones, being occupied from above. He remembers the quiet of September, all flights grounded. An aerial hibernation manufactured; a halftime for clouds. Red lights ghost their bedroom curtains, x-ray the frames of empty cars, and cyclone on. The helicopter whirs out of earshot, but both their hearts beat a little more oxygen for a little longer, into the dark tunnels of their lungs.
Amelia Martens is the author of The Spoons in the Grass are There To Dig a Moat (Sarabande Books, 2016), and three chapbooks: Purgatory (Black Lawrence Press, 2012), Clatter (Floating Wolf Quarterly, 2013), and A Series of Faults (Finishing Line Press, 2014). Her work has earned support from the Kentucky Foundation for Women, the Kentucky Arts Council, and Rivendell Writers’ Colony. She met her husband in the Indiana University MFA program; together they have created the Rivertown Reading Series, Exit 7: A Journal of Literature and Art, and two awesome daughters.