Stay at the community park until dusk
just before our friends obey the curfew,
rocket off the swing set in mid-flight
leaving a contrail of their bodies clutching
the chains. Evacuating the shape of their youth
as they learn the laws, hit the ground running
for the safety of a voice on a distant porch.
But we remain in this playground of mirages
where spectral children continue their raucous
rhapsody across monkey bars, down hairpin
turns in tube slides, then sprint for the whirling
dervish of the merry-go-round—we cluster around
the chipping red disk, joining hands on the bars
like we are beginning a séance. Twilight touching
our shoulders is our omen to begin—our sprinting
blends the rainbow of graffiti on the wheel
into a swirl of neighborhood prayers, and we chant
their messages into reality with our frenetic bodies.
We spin faster than the Ferris wheel at the county fair,
whooping and hollering with one voice, proclaiming
this is the place where all wild things speak.
Our bodies become bolts of color perambulating
the sacred words, coalescing into a new colossus
of energy, exuberant bliss to end all energy crises.
And we burn neon sign bright as our synapses
converge into a collective country, one brain
reciting these mantras in an infinite loop.
And we chat each message with the gestural slang
of our bodies, and the elated huffing and puffing
that our foul-mouthed hope will end suffering.
The shape of every house slurs into our vortex
until we have the audacity to say there are no more
borders or walls between us—the gravity of our playground
meditation makes us feel the pulsing of every heartbeat
across the globe, and a new constellation assembles
in the planetarium of the sky, radiating a blueprint
for all life on earth—and the fire within our chest
matches the flames in the sky, and we follow
the path until we dissolve into the light.
The moment of peace lasts for the eternity
of our play, until we lose our grip on the bars,
and are flung onto the drought-parched earth.
Emerging through the haze of our own laughter,
we see the truth of our awakening rise above us
as plainly as the first full moon of summer.
Christian Sammartino is the Editor-In-Chief of Rising Phoenix Review and the Managing Editor and Poetry Editor for L’Éphémère Review. He is currently studying Philosophy at West Chester University. His poetry is influenced by life in the Pennsylvania Rustbelt near his hometown of Coatesville. His work has appeared in Words Dance, Voicemail Poems, Lehigh Valley Vanguard, Ghost City Review, Sea Foam Mag, Thirteen Myna Birds, Yellow Chair Review and others. He was a Resident Poet for Lehigh Valley Vanguard during the summer of 2015. His first chapbook, Keystones, was released by Rising Phoenix Press in December 2014.