I Need That Ride

by Amanda Chiado

Mike Tyson’s hot air balloon is made of gold thread,

Cured spider silks from the rice fields of Indonesia.

The strands are harvested in late summer, which

Gives them their glint and floatability. Mikey did it

For his mother, did all of this for her. She wanted

To whip around the world, twice. She had bad knees

Though. Nothing you can do with rickety ol’ knee caps.

That’s how the streets get you, turn your moon pies

Into skipping stones. “Mama, the balloon is ready.”

It was Thursday. The luckiest day of the week,

But her knees had turned to lead. She was stuck

Kneeling at her bedside near a velvet deity. “Come on

Mama.” She couldn’t rise. Mikey yanked her up, fueled

By champion blood, even wore his gilded belt for grace.

Every time he yanked he heard ripping, her body

Parting at it weaknesses. “Baby,” she said, “the golden

Threads won’t get me home.” Just then, in a whoosh

She crumbled from the knees up and the knees down.

He lay in the ashes thinking of snow angels on Mt. Hamilton,

Scooped up the pile with big hands, sweet spilled sugar.

There was a horizon waiting. The great shimmering

Balloon swayed on his golf-course lawn and rose up

Against the horizon after he slumped into the basket.

His mother falling like bread crumbs from his pockets.

Amanda Chiado used to be a unicorn archaeologist, but now she takes up space as doorbell mechanic. She’s thinking about you and your tender eyes. Read more of her work at www.amandachiado.com.
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