Stretch your arms, rock to and fro
on the abandoned tracks, imagine
you’re a great ocean bird. Swoop,
dive, fly up to dizzying heights, peer
down to a rippled carpet, the ocean,
far below. Lean into your dive, feel
gravity’s pull, the insistence of textbook laws,
the water miles away. Accelerating,
you race until at the last moment,
wings straining with the effort, you pull
up. Soar away from collision, use
momentum to regain the sky. Eager
you test yourself against another drop.
Open your eyes. Disoriented, you’re standing
on the broken tracks, arms outstretched.
A flock of gulls about their business stays
a safe distance away. They have no idea
you flew with them. They watch
you with aviator’s eyes, making sure
you never attempt to get too close.
Walking home, you wonder if the sky is
farther away than ever, if you’ll ever belong.