The Old Bell Tower
I am up as high as the doves,
straining to pull the rope
having learned to feel the vibration
from fretting metal down my arm,
down even to my ankle bones
where the thin wood of the platform
holds just my body and the light
inside the empty church below.
And my fear rises like a puff of breath in October.
I look down at the faces of my friends
who follow with taped-on wings that catch
and catch at the nails of the ladder.
They are masked and ready to fly.
I imagine how this must look, how drunk
we feel but right enough to count
seconds and name the dark sky
pinpricked paper held at arms-length.
Our lived-inside-of Lite-Brite galaxy.
The hands that made them copper-soft,
electric. We run from the abandoned tower
against headlights and the swelling dust.
I am the green one whose map took longest
to make, laughing now with the shiver of
night-fear rattling my deadwood bones
and the jaw-hinged mouth of the moon
and the heartthump of nested pigeons
and the gonging we fell down into.