“Why don’t the men fall off their hang gliders,”
asked Mike after our ascent from the beach.
I told him to ask the man with pliers
assembling his white-winged thing, like the bleached
bones of titanium gulls. He told Mike
about the sack, harness, carabiner.
Lauren asked, “What if the harness unties
or the sack opens?” He said, ”If you’re high
enough, the parachute inside will fly
outside, carry you down.” His friend nearby
assembling his green and white kite, cussed,
and said, “If you’re that high, you’re much too high.
You’ll need it.” Yes. Icarus, Daedalus,
Dante spiraling downward, he plummets
then climbs seven ascending stories, on gusts
of winged air, tumbling from the proud summit,
rising on prayer, meeting God with a handshake,
three circles, converging, separate,
my son, my daughter, my dream of this place,
this poem, daring , as it dives, to rise,
to carry me with it to see his face.