Poem: Balcony, by Stacy Torian

They offered me a seat up top

and I took it, not knowing

that the only barrier

between me and the air would be

slats of wood thinner than belts

stacked barely as high as a child.

I am a fetus,

swathed in the fall that has not happened,

a melody of tumble and screech

floating in gravity’s womb.

In layman’s terms, I am a fool.

Who else but a fool would think a seat in the air

could be more than a seat in the air,

or that a cradle of noise could possibly fill

the emptiness under her feet?

A benthead woman sits yards below my galaxy

taunting in her nearness to the earth.

I covet her place

would give anything to be

down there instead of here,

so high and apart and pretending not to care.

This poem appeared in the Weekly Wafer section of this website in January 2017. It was originally published in the poetry volume, Chisel (2010).