Balloon Launching (excerpt)



Something approaching my lips,
something of a sinkhole up to my neck—
and we talk about a step in the muck
where curled back over my ears
I hear a guy say, “I’m fucked up and afraid.”
Tonight I disappear, and the fear of
saying goodbye lets us all down
when I wave.


Balloon Launching

It was time for bed
because she knew
I was trying some-
thing on for size.
She mentioned
the name of a swan
then the color purple.
I thought of Yeats
then god before lying down.
It will be different tonight—
I am balloon launching
and there’s a frightening
wind outside.


Michael Brooks Cryer’s dog, Archie, thinks he’s John Wayne.