The air inside the air
kept getting smaller

as we flew up,
waving away the inches

we had been living in,
the faithful trees

that had watched over us.
Inside the gondola,

sound became a gesture.
A lion on the wind

and then its skeleton
howling dyslexic gusts.

The light bent swans
between the clouds,

nasty, angry swans
we could almost feel

fucking up our ethos.
It reminded me

of when we stole the chicken,
how it kept so quiet

we dropped the knife
and just stood there,

stuck around the pentagram
like dumbfounded policemen

who’ve uncovered
a whole town of nudists.

I mean, yes, we were serious,
but really we knew

there was something wrong,
if not with us

then perhaps with the system
that trained us in Peace Studies

before leaving us bored
and underemployed in a summer village.

After a few hours,
we drank the champagne

tradition dictates
every balloonist must carry

to prove to suspicious farmers
they are not aliens.

We ate the éclairs
we brought to remember

how good the earth is
when the right elements

are placed together,
how totally amazing

that from dirt
grow proud tomatoes,

and countless ideas from our days:
the travel-size ghosts,

the sandbags we throw
to help us get away.

Christopher DeWeese