in flight
4. an SR-71 at 82,000 feet

in flight,

where high above the earth

I touch the evening air against my wings

and if I'm fast enough I'll chase 

the fragile sunset's purple glow 

forever through a slowly fading sky

until I tire.

3. a 757 at 38,000 feet

in flight,,

the first class curtain has been safely drawn

with six seats and an aisle her company..

the woman to her left will snore 

nothing that's so important in her ear

the dinner pretzels have been served

she thinks now, smiling: we won't need 

much food here, wedged and shackled in our seats

not unlike galley slaves of old 

(at least we do not have to row this plane). 

And to her right the rotund man 

whose weight has caused the wing to dip,

descends a landslide stomach on 

the armrest she would surely like to use..

in flight,

where now the cabinlights are low

and outside it's pitchdark,

she's safe in this coccoon

at mach point eight, according to the magazine;

she'll pray this plane is safe to fly

and wonders whose these lights are down below

the captain hadn't said a word

about the places they've been over now

for really quite a while

(they're busy with the plane she'd guess),

and wonders what the timezone is we're in

and if we'll land on time,

and if there's still a pillow left 

inside bin seventeen.

2. at 40 feet

in flight,

the rushing air 

beneath the pale owl's outstretched wings

will make no sound

as talons carve

their whispered  gash

through nightime sky,

her dark eyes pierce

illusions of those hiding.

1. an airport

in flight,

where she's been running

forty days and forty nights

from her own tears

and she will pour

a cup from 

her own sorrows' heart

to any stranger in this place 

who would come near.

in flight,

where at an airport in 

a city she has never been

she'll wait  for a connecting flight

and revel in the strangers all around;

she's drenched in people she has never met

that, when her plane leaves, she will never see again.

a few more drinks along she'll think she knows 

that she will miss them all.

Jon Bohrn (1998)


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