Andrew Shields

Originally published in The Evergreen Review Issue 107 in 2004.

Ascending with a shout into the sky
is not a common human thing. It seems
ascension is reserved for holy virgins
and their martyred sons. We fall into
abysses or each other's arms, we fall
from jungle gyms in schoolyards covered with
graffiti, letters swimming past our eyes,
singing with the icons on our walls.
They hum their endless lullabies, but we
are not allowed to sleep. We have to sing
along for chorus after chorus. Rising,
we stumble through hallucinations to
where toilet seats and bathroom mirrors open
to receive us - and then we're falling in -
to our reflections.