The risen thought-balloons of rafts of engineers
are now my raft: steel bucket strapped to a blade
that carves through this pink abalone sky, shears
clouds into mother-of-pearl curlings frayed
by our wake through the trailing, rippling light.
It was magic, when I was a child, to fly
and see the way I thought astronauts might—
tiny towns winking below, moon eye to eye.
Now, tossing atop the molt of others’ calculus,
grown-up fear—the shed skin of those equations
might rip as we shudder through cumulus.
Anti-Occam’s razor: these vectored abrasions
that leave contrail scratches, our fingernail’s worth
of what’s grasped what I cling to far above earth.