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Clearly, On a Trampoline
by Laura McCullough

I've turned off the TV, killed the Internet,
my cell phone's in a drawer. I'm going

to paint. The window faces the woods,
naked still, the only hint of spring next

door: the neighbor's pussy willow tree.
I can almost see the road and the billboard

on the corner of this enclave of homes.
Today, I see there are boys in the air,

three, clearly, on a trampoline though
not the apparatus below. The bodies

of boys, arms flailing, faces from here
simply thumb sized strokes of color.

They're in motion -- the heft of adolescent
weight suddenly unburdened, an asset,

the biggest boy getting the most air,
the dream of trajectory almost in control,

the space between childhood and what lay
ahead, for now, all that is: they've escaped

where they've been, not yet captured
by where they'll go, existing outside

laws of gravity and state. If only they
could stay there long enough for me

to paint them, but I don't know how:
paint is inadequate, my hands crippled,

the brushes disintegrate. When I blink,
they're gone. I can't see the highway,

the billboard, the trampoline, nothing
but trees preparing to burst into leaves

obscuring my vision, an insult of greens,
riotous, unreplicatable, arrogant, grand.

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