“Back Story” by Chris Bullard

Chris Bullard


The mate in spandex straps us, front and back,
to flapping canvas sail and walks us backwards
to the speedboat’s slippery stern, back
to where the blue-green sea roils in the backwash.
You shout, “This is great,” but I shout back,
“Let’s ask the captain for our money back.”
And then a windstorm lifts us. Looking back,
I see us rising, slipping off the back
from safety into sky. The one way back
is down. I yell, “Too high!” and pull you back
though you’re not scared—not here, or back
at home, where I press, sleeping, to your back,
afraid to lose you, who hold nothing back.

from Rattle #32, Winter 2009
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