June 16, 2008

In Lieu of an Ars Poetica

I've cut the string. The kite levitates. It hangs right in there at 2 o'clock, its red vibrant against the blue sky.

The birch bends beneath it. We are all in the wind and my link with the kite is strong. I can't bear to look down. My body feels the gusts and I become very aware of my ribs. The kite is motionless but I sense its minute pulse, its love with the wind.

Sal, my neighbor, comes out in the late afternoon and feels the air around me. No strings, Sal. No fishline, no radio-control. The damned kite just hangs there.

Almost evening, the sky a cobalt blue and the red kite with a halo. Sal has binoculars and is examining the kite for ailerons.

Let Sal demonstrate wonder: I am as buoyant as the kite. There's the bodiless voice of my neighbor, and myself, an ethereal witness, totally satisfied, thankful I have no hands to caress the kite.

Sal says I have a martini in my hand. Thanks, Sal. I lift it without looking at it, feel a tingle at my lips, then with one hearty gulp toast the kite. The feeling is impossible, like an ice cube floating in air.

It is evening and only I can see the kite, that diamond shape where there are no stars. In the morning there are no stars, and no kite. But there is space for another.

—James Cervantes
from The Headlong Future (New Rivers Press, 1990)

Posted by dwaber at June 16, 2008 01:56 PM