Monday, February 21, 2011

On Flying

Flying at night is best.
Look down at all those burning dots
And all the darkness between them-
And maybe it's all floating on a deep, deep body of water
And the lamp-lined streets
Trailing out like warped fingers
Are bridges from house to garden to city to highway
Or maybe each bright car is a gondolier on fire
Later if you're lucky
Notice there are festivals spread out on every island
They have lit all their torches, rejoicing
Some, blinking lanterns, sending signals of joy
To all the neighboring tribes.

Here in the air the flight attendant demonstrates the use of an emergency mask.
Overhead reading lights click on
Or maybe it's only Sudoku puzzles and algebra homework
iPods glowing with Tetris and album covers
And some catastrophe shouting, breaking windows, exploding and burning
On the bluish screen glaring forward and to the right
Then again, to the right, soldiers with angry faces.

It's harder to believe it of these blocked-out cities.
Sitting flat in grids on some plateau I can't see.
Each light is just a repetition of the last and of the next
Row of dots square on graph paper.
And then swallowed by cloud cover.
Maybe further away a silvery row of lights
Pointing out a caravan of sailors.

We are lost inside of a cloud, because some announcement comes on about turbulence.
And every passenger wonders not-so-secretly (looking around wide-eyed and maybe
Clutching the armrests with each lurch)


"Oh God, is this how I die?"

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