Man Flying Corpse Flying Man

Robert Fanning

One Spring noon Corpse thin and paper light,
Man rolls him up like an ancient prayer scroll,
slides him into his breast pocket and steps out
into the sun.Walking to the field outside of town, 

Man unrolls Corpse, spreads him on the grass, ties
string round his spine and wrists, then releases Corpse
to the wind, his translucent flesh flapping through rips
in his black suit. Who would fly such a dark kite 

on such a bright day? a mother asks, covering
her baby's eyes in its stroller as they pass by
Man flying Corpse. Far beneath Corpse's gaze,
Man's grown ant-small and scampers, yanking 

the slack string tight, Man Corpse's marionette.
Man struggles to steady his Corpse
in the high gusts. A Corpse in the sky!
a young girl shouts, pointing up, but her family 

won't look. A Corpse in the sky! A Corpse in the sky!
she points again, now singing her words, watching
as the corpse begins floating down toward her.
Man pulls and pulls, but as he runs, he becomes 

bouyant, Corpse's falling lifting Man. Soon so light
Man floats high, now as sky as the sky.
Corpse's feet reach the grass just as Man meets his apex
high over the park, laughing as he eyes families 

and dogwalkers, the streets of his town stretching off
to the horizon. Corpse grounded on the grass below,
yet somehow—Man's string gliding through
Corpse's hands—the living Man at the dead one's command.




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