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,
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.