Deborah L. Davitt writes acclaimed poetry, short stories, and novels. For more about her work, please see

Image of Short Circuit - Short Circuit #05

He climbed a telephone pole first;
next, a cell phone tower,
because he'd heard of ancient saints
who clambered up pillars
to be closer to god,
or at least, further from humanity.

People thought he wanted to jump,
shouted that he had so much
to live for, got the police in
to talk him down—
the cops accused him of trespassing.

Reporters asked if he was protesting
the hidden dangers of microwave rays—
they finally forced him down
with a tranquilizer dart
and a net spread below.

It's not just the challenge
of the ascent,
that much is clear
from his few interviews,
not just a matter
of testing himself
against the heights,
infinity, impossibility.

This week, he's ascending
the new arcology, the one
that anchors the space elevator—
having heard that atop its spire
the heavens are always dark
and full of stars—

that the air, while thin,
at least has little wind
to push and pull at him,

and that in this blessed darkness,
he'll be able to perch,
gazing down at the lights of Earth
as they reflect the stars above,
and find in the silence
the peace he craves.

© Short Édition - All Rights Reserved


You might also like…