He takes a run at it: heaving himself
up off the lake, wing-beats echoing,
the wheeze of each pull
pulling him clear.
The sky is empty;
every stretch of water
flaunts its light.
You can learn how to fly, see all the edges
soften and blur, but you can’t hold on
to the height you find,
you can never be taught how to fall.

This Issue

December 15, 2005