CHARGE by Lisa Gluskin Stonestreet
Nine-volt coppertop. Stolen from the box under the counter
at my father’s store, dug in like a secret (like the cigarette
the summer before) under the oleander in the backyard.
Put it to my tongue, polar distance
collapsed to half, half again: sharp star
in its leap past physics, alkaline arc of toward.
(When the giant sacrifices himself for the boy)
(and on the screen
the men marching toward him all the pieces
falling from his metal body
steaming in the snow)
When the giant sacrifices himself for the boy, the boy
at my side is lifted for a moment,
filled with air, the intake, the stop-
gasp held aloft, no sound:
the shock at the top of the arc, the drop—
and only then, on the way down, opens into sob: hard water
wrung from a knot. All the pieces
Small hot forehead pressed to my chest. Animal exposed in the storm.
Knows himself then, knows himself to want more.