for 5 hours
inside a giant pill.
pressure in your head, ears stuffed
with ambient sound; hiss of air
from a thousand plastic nozzles
letting the air in from nowhere
looking around the cabin
the backs of peoples' heads
looking out the window: earth so bright -
the ground so far below, colors
thinning out into the air,
colors thinning out
the outside window has
a tiny crack in it
just a crack
Annoyed, you look up
you reach up,
twist the toy nipple shut
cutting off the air (that blasts your eyes for a second)
turning off the little light.
grasp at the handle, pull
sliding the window panel down,
shutting out the light.
The light comes from inside now
brown, dim, like a paper bag
with a flashlight inside
dim enough to sleep, but
not enough for you to sleep.
books to read,
and magazines, and
this safety card.
If You Are Seated In An Exit Row
but you are not seated in an exit row.
you would like to be seated in an exit row
it would be nice to have some responsibility.
your book seems to have petered out
right in the middle of a sad chapter.
but not sad enough
to want to keep dragging through it
with itchy eyes, and a neck
that kinks when you shift your seat
now you are a little worried. you always are
you wish this poem was over, already
safely over! Well Over
coming in smooth and graceful, with that rubber jolt and bump and rumbling roll
letting you know "OK! Even if
the wheel struts snap - we're already on the ground now,
and the fuel is spent (mostly) - and so we'll probably all get out okay"
the poem isn't over.
It's going to keep dragging on
dragging through the thin blue sky
in a high white arc
til the clouds go dark
in another couple hours.
til the clouds go dark,
and the wheels come out
and time restarts.
For another couple hours,
you reach over, pull
open the window
- just a crack