Virtues of Flight, #70

Fasten your seat
belt. Fluff your pillow. Turn
the music loud.
Settle back,
while those trained
to divert your attention
away from falling, smile, and act
as if this happens everyday
here, with your food
and your drink.

Try not to catch
the white noise, which
is not white, but hot
explosions of refined oil exploding
through a quartet
of engines.
What you barely hear
is only
a most dangerous four
part harmony.

Read a magazine,
browse through
our catalogue of items
you will never buy. Pray
to the promise of commerce,
our here and now
salvation, labeled
retail therapy. Kneel
before the godhead
of Hammecher-Schlemmer.

A meal,
a meal. Long strand of maroon
eye level along the horizon,
at eye level
with the horizon. No man
should ever
find himself eye level
with the horizon.
Choose between the beef
and chicken.

Our in-flight entertainment
includes music videos,
product tie-ins,
blockbuster movies
out on DVD.
Another drink
for you, Sir? See,
it’s your living room, all
scrunched up between
our spacious seats.

Ponder. More to the point, don’t
ponder the weight
of the crew,
thin and lovely though they may be,
multiplied by
that fat guy
times your own
rounded belly
plus luggage, salads, copies
of that magazine.

Think how much effort,
at work
it takes to lift boxes,
how precarious they rest
at six feet.
Our captain says
we are cruising at sixteen-
thousand feet. Lay your head
back. Pretend
you are floating.



A day is not done, until it's filled with words.

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