Exhale on Descending

Lines of poetry appear like sweat
on departure,
bubbling to the surface.
Necessity. A body’s mechanism for coping,
a body that leans with the roll
of an Air France CRJ900,
a body that has lost it tightness
yet soldiers on despite tiramisu and wine,
getting from point A to point B
less gracefully now
but more sure than ever in its going.

We fly over a trailer park
with empty slots, above-ground pools,
a Marriott with hourly rates
like the Honeydew Inn on Dixie Highway
next to the drive-up liquor store
that never carded us, getting tequila sunrises
on our bicycles.
Leemont Acres, Valley Village,
the A&W where Fort Knox soldiers tried to score.
Some did. Some died.

Direct your attention up front.
The oxygen mask will drop. It will get hot.
Save yourself first. A semi-hell
flight path to Cedar Rapids.

The dandelions already gone to seed
waving in wind, wild
violets taking their place. This is how it works.
Germination, seeding, death. Really
it’s all the same, poems written
on the back of envelopes, on airplanes,
pushing back knowledge
that we are all
dying too soon amidst crying babies
or silent seat-mates. Tick tock.
Get on that plane. Go to Bali.
Slap that fear bitch in the face.
You got this. Exhale on descending.

Me, I’ll float on the rise of an angel,
the hard-visaged kind, twinkling lights be damned below,
pay my dues in purgatory
as easily
as falling out of the sky.