The downside to rising like this:
How the emphasis shifts from your legs.
They cycle the air at the outset,
then slacken, and finally trail

the torso’s relentless flexing.
Disuse for a month or two withers
them into mosquito whiskers,
and then, when it’s time to descend to

your fellow men and walk beside them,
you land and buckle in a grand
absurd kerfluffle, the satin tent

of wings collapsing over you,
real earth in the mouth
where ethereal used to whisper.