Hannah Stein

Today in a parking lot
between a laundromat and pizza parlor
I heard The Magic Flute coming
from a car radio — the door wide open
and a man in a plaid shirt
sprawled, mending something under the dash-board.
It made me happy,

the way passing under a cer-tain sycamore
bleached cream and citrine in patterns
where the old bark sloughed off
makes me happy — its torso
vaulting upward
into an empyrean of leaves —

Only the thin film of cirrus beyond

keeps me from levitating.
Did God mean anything by it,
giving us a soul — or was it

an accident, a joke — to break us out of
the hyphen between our birth and death dates?
Some comedian whisks us into

the sky, knowing the sky will not save us,
but swing us airy as balloonists,
the colored silk belling us awake.

Hannah Stein's

. . . books are Earthlight, a collection, and a chapbook, Schools of Flying Fish. Another chapbook is forthcoming from Pudding House Press in its "Greatest Hits" series. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Nimrod, Confrontation, the American Poetry Journal, and Poetry Flash. She has been a featured poet on, Verse Daily, and Poetry Daily.