There is a hook that lives
in me, and any hand may tie
its line to the eye,
to reel me where it will,
to cast me out
in counterfeits of flight,
to tease a world of mouths
with intimations of a meal.

And I have learned through long repeat
the grammar of gravity,
the whiplash and the crash.

But in that span,
in the arc between the wrist’s snap
and the impact,

I am sovereign in a blue country
and am food for nothing.

More by Art Zilleruelo

Someone's Property

Ten planes exhaled contrails,
painting someone’s property lines
across a sky we thought was ours.

The sun surfaced,
and a checkerboard shadow
carved the city into hundredths
before the lattice loosened
and masked itself as clouds.

Now we walk divided, with memory
imposed upon the moment,
rays wandering a graph of absent shadow,
hoping to sidestep felony
as we move through these
unknowable territories.

Ghost Story

In a field near the lake
stands the ghost of a dead oak.
The ghost is black and very tall.
It never speaks or moves.
The sky wants to take it.
The earth wants to eat it.
But the ghost is strong, it does not want to move.
So it argues half its tongues into the dirt,
and grips hard against the sky’s glutton lung.
It whispers the other half into air,
and weathers the white earth’s thirst.
Like a frayed black suture it binds earth and sky together.
In this way the ghost stills its universe:
the sky can never rise nor the earth fall
out of their coupling’s grave jurisdiction.
The lake will breathe its atoms to the clouds.
The constellations will pageant
the lucky patterns of their composition
until they break and fade.
But the ghost will stand
contented with the silence.
With the snowfall.
With the stalemate of its own device.