January 15, 2008

The Poem as Airplane Passenger

At first itís really nothing,
idling in the terminal, too poor
for overpriced bar drinks,
marked-up fast food.

It has explored in every direction,
the numbing repetition of gates,
their waiting crowds growing
from the lines of linked seats.

Soon it will board. But now,
poem slumps in a vinyl seat,
a foot propped up
on the carryon bag.

First called to board, it takes
an aisle seat. Other passengers
bump its waiting head
with bags as they go by.

A large man squeezes in
the window seat next to it,
spills over the armrest, gains
weight on the tarmac,

his shoulder forces poemís
torso into the aisle.
The flight attendantís ass
brushes poemís shoulder

as she checks the security
of every passengerís seat belt,
readies the cabin for takeoff.
Poem is uncomfortable,

but says nothing. Takeoff
awaits. The plane will rise,
air pressures change,
turbulence jar this narrow world.

In this new atmosphere,
Poem will grow, its body
become something new,
filling every empty space.

—Gary Leising

Posted by dwaber at January 15, 2008 01:54 PM