by Marta Ferguson
This—at the cross-stitch, I must be reminded—
is where I place my right foot. Here,
at the tops of the lines—I need no
coaching now—is where I place my hands.
Here, the feet planted roughly in ballet’s
third position, the hips canted slightly out,
is how I pit my weight against the envelope’s
billowing mass. Here is how I pull the mouth
more open, capture the updraft from the fan,
here is how to pull in place, to balance the front
brass plate over the scoop’s red fabric tag.
And now—a reminder again, pilot will signal—
is when I step away and let the burner,
which I feel already on my bare arms
and face, fill the remaining space with
the same air, only warmer, larger.
Now, is when it rises to stand
above the basket to which I move
to place my weight again, all this
effort a means of harnessing
greater forces, working them,
not in dominion, but in partnership,
for lift and buoyancy, for flight.
Marta Ferguson is the co-editor of Drawn to Marvel: Poems from the Comic Books (Minor Arcana Press, 2014) and the author of Mustang Sally Pays Her Debt to Wilson Pickett (Main Street Rag, 2005). She is the sole proprietor of Wordhound Writing & Editing Services, LLC (http://www.wordhound.com).