Every Reason I Take Flight
This lower lip is all the lift of Kitty Hawk,
there are birds building from my toothache.
My mother was a moonbeam.
My father’s first language is pollen,
he is fluent in spring wind.
I sing in the key of Franklin kite string.
On the night of my birth, a whole flutter of butterflies
in my belly unfolded their wings. They only pull up.
I share a boot size with Armstrong.
When he was a boy, every sandbox was a planet to footprint.
I dumped stardust from my kicks on the playground the same way.
My weather vanes carry crosswind and feathers through this
body’s every avenue. I am an autobahn of propeller twist.
I turn like werewolf revolving doors.
At night, I sleep with every window open.
I fill my mouth with shot star. I spit wishes when I speak.
I glow with this cosmos laced through the antlers of my spine.
I am a mobile of diamond and coral reef. I float so high.
My big brother was born from bonfire smoke, some summers
I still smell him climbing.
On the 4th of July, I show my cousin how to run with his arms wide,
sparklers lit in both his fists. He mimics the mutter of jet engines
with his mouth. He runs so fast his circles become globes.
He takes off. He kisses God’s elbow with his forehead.
When he returns, he is half supernova.
Every evening, I smooth all my edges. I have cut my anchors loose.
I have grown so big no gravity can bear it. I will move with this moon soon enough.
I am a ballroom of astronauts with every sun in his mouth. I will glow so great.
for Ray Bradbury
With the sun at its most dandelion,
we took only the unmarked roads, past
the summer icehouse and a library full
of ladders. We found the only time
machine we’d ever met, the oldest
man. He told us stories of war and how
love hasn’t changed in two thousand
years, still the sweetest drink, still the
biggest cup to carry in your hands.
We met the youngest god. A girl
who could forecast rain by the buckle
of her mother’s knees. She cried over
the loneliest man she’d known, the
man on the moon. She swore she
gave him a thousand shooting stars,
but he kept throwing them all back, said
he’d rather our wishes came more true
than his own. At the day’s end, we
pooled together every arrowhead,
shoestring, and skipping stone we’d
found and built the biggest happiness
machine we could fashion. The stones
danced over the pond, the arrowheads
cut our shoestrings into bracelets. We
smiled til the rounds of our cheeks stung,
our bellies sick with lime-vanilla ice.
It was the summer most full of magic.
My pockets are full of rosebuds
waking for you. I am blooming.
I am a beehive of nervous energy.
My chest is all buzz and honey,
sugar and electric fence. My mouth
is a rosary of jelly beans. So much
of what makes summer sing, is pulsing
beneath my finger tips. There is
a pond with a tire swing here. There
is every marching band. If you beat
me piñata I would shower you in daisies
and pineapple, hopscotch and street dance.
I am a museum of jungle gym and bird song.