At the top of the Empire state building sits a small child on top of her father’s shoulders, crooning over the edge of his head, toward the rim of the sky. She wants to swallow the sun’s fire, to spread its blades of flame across her face. She stretches as far as she can before her father steps backward, in fear that she might slip from his arms and smear the sky. He is quick enough to save her, but not to save poor Abe Lincoln who rings out of her hands like a bell.
A copper sun flips the wind on its hard skin. A child, hair-like branches, saunters along the pavement, carefully avoiding any groove or slice in the cement, preferring to place his loosely laced sneakers on smooth ground: don’t break nana’s. Suddenly. He stops. Still as the hot ground beneath him, but smoother. A beautiful ripple of skin emerges at the top of his head, then sprouts like a nest, only scarlet like a newborn robin, like birth itself. In a moment he begins to move again, though this time even more slowly, yet infinitely more gracefully, as if his body has become water. When he lifts up his left foot, a small round penny slips out from the bottom of his shoe and swivels on its side before slowly resting on a small, dark, crack.
That afternoon his sister places her lips at the top of his head and whistles through his body.
Erik Fuhrer is a PhD and MFA in poetry candidate at The University of Notre Dame. His work has recently been published, or is forthcoming, in BlazeVox, Riggwelter, Noble/Gas Qrtrly, Unbroken, Dream Pop Press, Leopardskin and Limes, and various other venues.