Flying Wallendas

by Andres Rojas


Some say tightrope
though it sags in the middle
until you step in
and the slack centers
on you. Others,
highwire, a pencil-
thin contrail
three flag poles

above concrete—
drop a mannequin
and consider ribcage
and lungs. I say
skywalking, and no net
can ease that plummet—

Retrace with me
that line we saw
only later,
a black thread
on night’s tarp,
our pause at the step-
board altar,
two bodies leaning

into future space
daring luck
to waver, the wire
invisible below—
until death do its part—
each syllable of sole
on metal a vow:
Steady. Steady on.

ANDRES ROJAS is the author of the chapbook Looking For What Isn’t There (Paper Nautilus Debut Series winner, 2019) and of the audio chapbook The Season of the Dead (EAT Poems, 2016). His poetry has been featured in the Best New Poets series and has most recently appeared or is forthcoming in, among others, AGNIBarrow Street, Colorado Review, Massachusetts Review, New England Review, and Poetry Northwest.

Photo: “Tightrope” by Chris Richmond