Twilight Aeronauts

We fairies fly on what you humans toss
away, wind through the wind on watch-gear wings
and ring the air with canterbury chimes.
The pretty fairies glamour eventide,
all flash and fancy, merry as a grig.
They tinker wings together from the scraps
of ornament they find—keys to journals
lined with secrets long forgot, the rust
laced hinges creaking as they flutter by,
the flowered handle of a christening spoon—
fallals and frills to fashion into flight.

The rest of us just pound our pinions out
of any spiky dross that we can nick—
shattered lorgnette lenses for their shine,
the nibs of stylographs stained black with ink,
the engine from a model train to steam
out stars and pump our avigations,
apothecary flasks, a morphine fiend’s
syringe. We barb ourselves against the teeth
of rats or pigeons guttering for meals.
We hide in shadow ’til the gaslight dims
then beat our way through fog and chimney smoke
to rise above your roofs and taste the sky.

—Joshua Gage