Silent Giants

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Silent Giants by Shayna Glazer - Photo by Alex Garrow

I stood on the backs of airplanes.
The world around me, still. These planes would never take flight.
Wheels sunken into the asphalt, windows shrouded in green vines. Bugs cooed into the night, inviting all to join them in song.
I stood on the backs of these airplanes, their wings bent down to the ground as if the center of the earth called up to the tips of each and dragged them toward it in an act of love, or perhaps simply a display of strength.
I stood on the backs of these broken planes and opened my eyes wide in wonderment, looking dreamily up at the night sky.
My clothes were simple, jeans and a sweater that I had pulled from a zippered luggage bag in the cab of the biggest plane.
I liked to look up at the stars because I liked to hope another plane would fall to me.
Fall in the manner of slow arcing circles, fall as if it weren’t thousands of pounds of hard metal, fall delicately like a bird drifting down from flight.
They used to fall so frequently.
The long strip of greasy pavement they landed on always seemed to catch new breeds of these birds. I’d watch from the trees: watch the men file out of the cockpit, watch them laugh, watch them sing.
Each plane that came had no passengers except for the pilots that flew them. Each plane was simply left by the men in the blue uniforms, left to rot on the surface of the earth no one lived on.
I would creep out at night and reach up to the large turbines and pull my thin body atop the empty beasts. I’d sit inside the circular engines, let my feet dangle below me as I counted the blades.
No one bothered me here, no one knew I was here.
I regarded myself as the only person on this earth that did not exist.
I was the mother of nature, I was the fastest, the strongest, the prettiest; had any man known me, I would instantly be their queen. And yet I did not exist.
I was not even a ghost.
There was no memory of me, therefore there was no knowledge of me, and what is unknown by mankind simply cannot exist in the eyes of mankind, right?
So I stood on the tall backs of jumbo jets and large passenger planes and used the fruits of the forest to paint large swirls on the backs of my beasts. I tamed them to be my creatures, to be my protectors, to be my kingdom.
I sprinkled ivy seeds in the crevices outside the windows and watered them with dewdrops found on leaves until they could support themselves in growth.
I guided these vines in snaking paths across the delicate sagging wings of the creatures and down the sides to grow roots in the ground.
The silent giants only watched me create shelters and rooms from the wings of their bodies and allowed me to paint thick strokes down their backs to create bones.
I stood on the backs of airplanes because I could, because up there I was the only one and up there I was safe. Up there I could wonder what my creatures looked like from the sky, up there I could angle my body to feel the breeze sent from the wild, up there I was invincible.
Up there I was no less alone.

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