The New Ride
I hang ten stories above the ground, all of it like pebbles below me, the shuttles, the cars, the people. Then it all suicides down, the ground reaching for me, the green of trees and shrubs, grabbing, like dirt under fingernails, and then it shifts, the coaster slinging me through spirals, through tilts. November is the word. Already his desert training has started. He tells me about sun, about heat, about how none of this is shit. Words come from the phone that I am not used to, hostiles, terrorists, fucking things up. All I know is that in November his first tour in Iraq starts. The wind is like fire in my ears roaring, out of control, lost. From between bars, my wife stretches the thin flesh of her arm until she can grab my knee. She has noticed my silence and screams if I am okay. There is a pressure here, metal on my chest, tightening on my balls and knees, keeping me in place, keeping me from falling. I tell her I’m fine, and open my eyes.