Should it still be so

                              razor-edged & wondrous to see the sacrificial hordes of little men who tarp the sky carve 

                              vertical welts through the atmosphere, climbing up each gangly axon of ladder, moving—from

                              what I can see at my post—so diligently at first and then slowing, almost to a stall, seeming 

                              to dangle in the air, the near-shorn coat of an overgrown sheep swung just below the belly, 

                              attached by a few strong deluded fibers, or caught in the tropopause, perhaps on a 

                              malfunctioning glass elevator, gears flooded 


                              Thankfully, it’s all relative

                              at my computer screen I zoom and see their legs, half trapeze artists, half electricians, flexing 

                              so furiously upwards, I can near see the blood-spectres plucking their heels, un-see their backs 

                              turtled with the government-issued tools to blow out the circuits. I crunch numbers and recede 

                              into the final blue, preparing for each man to reach his Pinnacle, preparing to be awash with 

                              the same diffusive surprise that pierces the sky: a languorous explosion of color, the cheeks 

                              warm with guilt, caught, yellow laughter fat in the mouth, sluicing into the beard


                              Possibly the whole earth

                              hyperventilates, averts her gaze from these maneuvers, lets it all unfold above her, cumulus. 

                              I want to shout these are your men! and make her kiss each sweaty forehead, each eye 

                              planted in its devout rubber mass of skin, but even in the end, rapturous decorum must be 

                              maintained: my uniform, its badges winking to no one, will stay buttoned to my neck, soon 

                              to be melded into my skin, long after the last man tessellates into place and dissolves. May 

                              those who follow note: I guard the button ready to transmit the go ahead & it’s my finger, 

                              so sure of the command, which trembles with breath—corporeal, sinewy, almost prayer


                                             and what will be left of you? your Eyes! great, gleaming crystal

                                             gophers migrating with the dark