The Volunteer

Hurry! I cannot hold your half of the sky
          as well as mine
          much longer.

The engineers have done all they can,
but even they have thrown up their hands
and grumble as they turn away
from this eventual disaster. Soon,

the police will cordon off the area, the whole
world really, because of the sky and me
and how I could not bear the weight.

One time I sprung a leak.
          Now the little girl’s finger fills
          my mouth, bloated and fits like spray foam,
          keeps the water and vermin from springing
          out of my goddamn pie-hole: Save me!

I cannot ask you for the time of day,
let alone to save me, so why can’t you
just come and grab a slice of blue
before God decides he’s had enough of me?

I suspect I won’t accordion under this weight
like Wile E. Coyote, or resurrect like Christ
or the villain in a horror film. No, I’ll be
sliced in half, the magician’s unfortunate apprentice.

You think I’m exaggerating, don’t you?

Did Atlas ever complain, you ask?

Like always, I’d show you the wounds in my hands
but I’m too busy with the heavy lifting you left
to me. I’d wipe the tears but they keep me afloat.

          Put your hand between my stantioned legs and you’ll find
          I’m skin-shrivelled and wet with sorrow. So what?

I’m done! Rosie fucking retired, and the men should
do the cleaning. You’re up! The pulleys tighten,
the footlights blaze, the curtains part. You’re on, pal!
Why are you always such a diffuse shadow?
                                                            Slippery son of a bitch.

This tiredness creaks my bones. I have crushed
teeth in my silence. Come down from your heights!
Don’t you see, Zeus? I need the burden of you
released like an exorcism, like a blessing.

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