The Drogue Chute Slow down, the drogue chute says, Slow down, Slow down, and then is gone, the big main parachute in bloom, its shimmering the mission’s crown. Eclipsed, the drogue chute’s final say is moot. Unlike a sun or moon, it won’t emerge, obscured forever by its own success preparing its successor chute to surge into that clement shape all watchers bless. The drogue chute’s idol is the jellyfish, whose mantle morphs, now drogue, now crown, now drogue again, one smooth curve of salvific wish, each phase enjoying equal time in vogue. It doesn’t matter jellyfishes sting. The dome and steeple shapes mean everything.
Dan Campion is the author of Peter De Vries and Surrealism and co-editor of Walt Whitman: The Measure of His Song, a third edition of which was issued in 2019. His poetry has appeared in Poetry, Rolling Stone, and many other magazines. A selection of his poems titled The Mirror Test will be published by MadHat Press in February 2022. He lives in Iowa City, Iowa.