My fear is that someone would invent a tool to untether me

I jumped against the sky expecting I would find another sky. A subtlety to sky.
I wanted to get to know the sky better. I wanted to breathe in the air. The sky as a blank space.
Or maybe the opening to a decent conversation.
If you’re using a camera you can pose against the sky and people will think that you’re flying.
Which is very dishonest.
Particularly to the sky.
Have you known a sky? I am trying to make its acquaintance.
The sky I am thinking of is a set piece for honesty.

Look into the night sky. All it is is confused.
The sky is revealing to the people what a sky can really look like.
Not day. Not the sky that’s being suspended over the whole state of Texas.
Just estranged populations.
So many populations running away from the earth.
I don’t know what to do about a sky when it’s like this.

I am more a middle of the day. My favorite meal is lunch.
My favorite tree is whatever it is that is happening in the spring, mainly after a strong rain.
Maybe sometimes when the leaves change.
So long as the place I’m living in is conducive to trees.
Their weights and measurements. Their various relationships with a sky.
Is there a place where birds come from? I think it’s the sky.
A tree absorbs sky. It takes it into its lungs.
How sky is sky? say the trees. And that seems to mean something.

I built a house, and I made sure there was one window.
I nailed a tether to the side of that window. On the outside, I put sky.
I was jumping to the outside so many times I forgot what falling is in a sky.
I am coming for you, Sky!
Do not misinform me or take me into account. I was attached to this house for a reason.
Sometimes I jump, and I am air.
Then I am sky.
I think, “And, now, everything else!” Where everything else is the order of sky.
Air molecules. Air molecules existing. All they can do is keep existing.

Copyright © 2018 Kent Shaw. This poem originally appeared in The Cincinnati Review, Summer 2018. Used with permission of the author.