The way out

Cable-carried am I,
in harness.
Slow. It is slow.
I hear the rollercoaster clacks,
each prophesying sinister thrills.
With powered eyes I see
continents of fogged-in secrets.
Sorry horses stand, bedraggled in streaming rains.
They look to me with pleading eyes,
but I have no help to give.
Clack, clack, clack…..a sharp turn.
The dream veils are dropped,
and it is bright cooking sun.
Beetles of football size float by with a helicopter buzz.
At my left hand, now, is a rail of brass.
From it hang leather pouches,
each containing an object of obscure purpose.
Now a can of grease.
Now a pair of winged sandals.
Sunglasses with upside-down arms.
I see now that my left hand holds a red stop button,
and I press it.
The rippling tinkle sound of a taut chain relaxing.
I do not wish to leave items that I might need,
but I don’t know what to take.
I pick up a red phone, hung from a post.
Its rotary dial says “phone a friend”.
I say hello.
Someone in a cackling voice says
“We are all mad here”, and hangs up.
I decide that the items in the pouches are false bait.
There’s a tin pedal at my foot,
like the ones in bumper cars.
I step on it, and move on.
My path drops away, suddenly downslope,
and I feel a release from the ratcheting chain.
I am speeding now, in full panic.
There are three rushing rivers at the end of my Zip line.
Within arms’ reach, there is a lever with three positions available.
I try it, but it does nothing yet.
There’s a brake pedal too, and I jam it as hard as I can.
I smell the smoking steel, memories of subways long ago.
Once more, I am at a crawl, coming to the end of the line and the rushing waters.
There is one last leather pouch.
It holds a pair of stout cutters, and I take them.
Out of track, now.
Feet dangling, I hang from an overhead derrick.
I try my lever again.
It moves me over the gateways of each water.
Cockeyed conifers point to the left hand way.
On a ledge, above the right hand river,
a rainy horse.
I shift the lever, then cut the cord.
The water is warm,
and oh so sleepy.

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