I wrote this piece on the plane from Houston to Philadelphia before I spent the evening with my parents. Traveling alone presents an opportunity for adventure and courageous daring (thanks, Josan), but is a reminder of how I live the majority of my life as a single chap in a small mountain town. Props to the grand slam poet from Derry, Seamus Heaney, as reading his work before I fell asleep most certainly influenced the cadence of my thoughts upon waking.
I woke from a nap
impossible to measure in minutes
or rest so high up
hoping I was surrounded
by something familiar, to be with
these stories I am
carrying in the messenger
bag and head, the stowaways
in my heart.
But waking in this hull of strangeness
the faces are just out of reach
like the drinkers on round two down
the row already loose on cabin pressure
and Absolute, the girl rising from the exit
seats fashionably emaciated and pierced lipped
like my students’ metal mouths and gaunt
exposed angles, that easy rapport between
attendants dancing up and down the aisle
always hovering. Next to me
the empty seat
I’ve always wanted to be an invitation
for someone to shatter the distance
and take them with me.