If Man is Meant to Fly

Luke Johnson

San Juan, Puerto Rico

There is a crane and there is a wrecking ball.

There is a man hugging the rusted chain

and twirling, swinging apex to apex all

a’giggle, his friend in the driver seat

with those ludicrous levers and knobs,

laughing, too, at this game they’ve made

where the sky cuts with a whistle and steel

becomes light. Humid sky makes your lungs sweat

as you watch them without hardhats

or orange reflective vests or even

a foreman to storm in and tell them

to get back to work, no, not here,

a stone plaza hidden in the gridwork

of pastel alleyways, where there’s a room

of pinned butterflies, black wing-spots

shimmering a sea in oranges like a wall

of eyes, all in boxes, boxes kept dusted

and clear, there to show how beautiful

these wings could be alive.