One hundred and fifteen thousand pounds of steel
counterbalanced by blocks of concrete the size of minivans
And lifted two hundred feet in the air, bolted to an incomplete
latticework of iron and more steel and more concrete that,
over time, shrinks down to nothing under the glare of one man,
a lever in each hand and a sandwich stowed under his seat,
Turning in circles so small it's like he's not moving at all.

He's looking at the tops of seagulls passing by below him
and the bottoms of airliners from Washington International above
and thinking, well ain't that somethin'? when his vision
goes searing white, then green, then black, then nothing at all,
the crushing weight of mechanical physics brought to its knees
by the legacy of Benjamin Franklin, freed from its kite and so very hungry.

One hundred and fifteen thousand pounds of steel with a dead man
at the controls, rotating slowly through the night as the lights atop the
Washington Monument pulse a slow, deep red, a warning to fliers everywhere.