Trampoline Friend

We would test each spring
before looking back at his step-dad,
"Don't kill yourselves" he'd say
before disappearing into the air
conditioning for the summer.

The trampoline's keeper was at least
twice as heavy as anyone else.
He would launch us into the trees
overhead to pick the foursquare balls
and Frisbees that spent all winter growing.

We would get up early and bounce to separate
the drum from the morning dew and bounce
till walking on firm ground felt unnatural.
We rehydrated with Otter Pops and ate
Otter Pops and wore Otter Pops like warpaint

because you can sort of eat them
in the air and in the air we were safe
unless we got a good bounce and floated up,
beyond the sphere of lost things
to a kingdom of bee hives and dappled light

and once we sent smoke bombs and roman candle fire
into the branches and once we invited some girls
and once I put a foot through the cover and slit
from ankle to thigh and iced it with an Otter Pop,

running it along my leg like a bloody train
until I realized my muscles were still clenching
and we were burning out ever so slowly, illuminated
against a backdrop that only moved forwards.