Fall 2010 / Issues / Poetry 2010 / Volume 41

Climbing the Skyscraper — James Doyle

Love at his fingertips,

love swaying beneath his feet

if he’d only loosen

his hands and turn into the wash

of pure wind. The slipstream

along his skin numb

with desire from the street below,

people holding out their hands.

Let the compass flex behind his back

and the low clouds

bend the rooftops over for a better

view. This building

will sway to meet him. He is that

sure of death,

the scale model he has built

since childhood.

When he reaches the top and crawls

over its edge

onto the terrace of the penthouse,

the garden

will be waiting for him with all

its miniatures,

life and death in balsa wood, rock,

diamond, concrete.

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