I knew the risk of dying
in a plane crash was small but I loved
to fly. When you are young
you are told not to talk to strangers but in the air
who can keep you from talking to them. And when
a plane falls apart and you know you are not dying alone
the moment is still lonely.
Once I wanted to be an astronaut, to fly about
like a weightless ribbon of flesh giving up the ghost of gravity. Still
in these last moments of flight above a lagoon of lights
I think, this is as close as I’ll ever be to outer space.
I look past rows of seats ahead,
out toward a queue of cars coming into view through a foam of clouds
just then a forest of homes rise
and a tensile curve of road approaches.
This could be any flight. How difficult
to be in this body. To be gnashed by fire and steel
the last thing you see as your eyes drift
is a couple at your right; you don’t turn away.
You watch. They hold each other tight.