High Above the Airport

Imagine youíre a decorated pilot
descending from a dogfight.
No, a child with paper wings
plunging spellbound toward earth.
The sky is gray, the wind whistling
nursery rhymes. Below you, planes
taxi in a long line like polite school
children waiting to learn the secret
behind the Easter Bunny and Saint
Nicholas. Imagine youíve already
reached the zenith and thereís no
place left to go but down among ant
people and ant cars. Above, ducks
zigzag in formation, no leaders,
no followers, death surely below.
Imagine youíre a tired leaf leaping
from the boughs of a silver maple,
or a womanís ripe belly descending,
both acts monumental, meaningless,
frozen in time. You understand now
that flying is perilous, waxen wings
melting in a sun, a fireball melting
the beams of skyscrapers, emptiness,
smoke. As you near the lit runway,
the planes jockey like pigeons pecking
each otherís eyes. We dream about
falling as children, defining ground
and sky. As you finally touch down,
you wake to find your neck is stiff,
your mouth dry. Below, there are no
winged wonders, no leaping super
heroes to prop us on our clouds,
just a plane full of strangers
clutching armrests like hands.

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