bulb planes see on that bridge he tells us,
bark sizzling into white fingerprints for the wind.
spring everything’s wet, wrapped in coiled steel
and someone plucks low notes from the cold enveloping our bodies.
after the first guy to die in the war. we’d ask
which war but the article tells us quietly which one.
understand it, how one word implies a noun
so we and the fire smoke and the wind channels a compass made
smoke revises our seating chart and directs us
everywhere except where it points. over the river
chrysalis inching backward the bridge grows slowly
bluer. to get to this fire you drive under rust being erased
under-paid brushes. the first guy to die
who didn’t build the bridge jumped off it. there’s no small word
swan dive, gainer, corkscrew, how, into what
style he turned his fall, but we don’t ask. we rotate chairs,
50 tons of paint that every seven years keep
the Eiffel tower free of scabs. my sisters don’t say it
the rust. one man died in the construction of the Eiffel tower.
we don’t want to know how, we prefer imagination,
tragedy, a loose-strut arpeggio, a harness uncoupling
into a sustained decrescendo. first guy, he jumped, didn’t work on it,
of the bridge’s namesake, and we nod that coincidence
is silent. no man does the work to use it as an end. those filaments,
enormous, big as his forearm he tells us, smoke rolling around him
like a lock tumbler. imagine, a man crouched in the sky above a river
into its socket. imagine that bulb burning in water
better than any fire a man can make with his hands.