Under the weather, flying over the clouds,
My manic energy is an airborne and haunting disease
That railroads my patience and snatches my equanimity
Like a free safety who gambles to shoot the gap on a hunch.
Acutely aware of the cabin’s pressure,
I’m left pacified dreaming wistfully for ignorance’s bliss.
Barricaded in my window seat,
I’m separated from the darkness
That doubles as my compulsive instinct for movement.
Sweltering under the inescapable scrutiny of the overhead lights,
I observe shadows laying dormant in a clump in the front of the plane
As if they’d been gathered in a butterfly net and listlessly dropped there by an attendant.
The “fasten seat belt while seated” sign is permanently on,
As if turbulence is a dish best served cold
And gray skies mix the bitter cocktail of a mischievous angel’s revenge.
The emergency exit door nags me like an attention-seeking younger sibling,
Needling and taunting to elicit an equally juvenile response,
But, alas, even with a parachute, engaging would not yield escape from this brutal isolation.
There’s no overstating the adversity of a tray table that won’t latch,
When sleep is a river long since dried up by drought
And the crunch, crunch, crunch of a neighboring passenger’s pretzels reverberates,
As if I’m traveling to oblivion with a stethoscope in my ears.
So, no matter where this incommodious flight designates as its ultimate destination,
I’ll be overjoyed to land and finally get back to the extrication of any place.
Written January 2016 in Portland, Oregon