How They Got Down



The roof deck held the jet-packs, and the teams

Of passing strangers ran the checklist, strapped


And counted down from ten. Each stairwell had

Da Vinci helicopters, rigged from cloth


And wood to spiral down like maple seeds.

Some broke the glass to pull out sets of wings,


Hides and feathers prepped to glide. All came down,

A thousand arcs that slowed to land upon


A grid-deck mezzanine above the street.

At any moment they might disembark—


Each day the stanchions holding them secure

Let fall a fading phrase, or joke, to wrench


Me into smiles, ready again to hear

His part among the chorus of escapes.


Copyright © Josh Jacobs 2012

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