Content

Issue 14
Sky Mall

Now that the air has become a pavement
of potholes, the fuselage a chew toy
for the gods,
now that the wings have begun to flap
like a real bird’s,
the peanuts bubbling out of the cup,
never before have I so wanted these things:
an upside-down tomato garden,
a scale that shows the time in Tokyo,
a wall-size NY Times crossword puzzle.

Somewhere a baby is bawling annoyingly
inside me. When the flight attendants are asked
to take their seats,
I am surprised I have lived this long
without a Frankenstein bobblehead,
an inflatable electric piano,
a precise portion pet feeder.

The descent is too steep, too steep!
I must have these night vision binoculars,
the talking Spanish-English Dictionary,
the collection of Lincoln pennies
with the rare 1943 steel cent.

I play the game of closing my eyes,
testing each moment for the soothing jolt
that signals the end.

Will it never come?

I want to go home,
to sit at my desk with the Boston Red Sox
laser engraved paper weight
containing actual dirt from Fenway Park,
to fritter the afternoon on rounds
of touch-screen Texas Hold’em,
to drift off in flannel
footed pajamas,
as a beige belt
sends gentle, slimming current
to my midriff.